Our friends at the social-impact startup GiftAMeal have been in the spotlight recently for their achievements in the fight against food insecurity.
Using social media for social good, the GiftAMeal app makes donations to local food pantries each time a customer at a partnering restaurant takes a photo of their meal on the app. Additional donations are made when photos are shared to Facebook or Instagram. WashU alum Andrew Glantz is GiftAMeal’s co-founder and CEO.
The company recently announced a new partnership with the Missouri Restaurant Association (MRA) allowing MRA member restaurants to join the GiftAMeal program at a discounted rate. GiftAMeal has also pledged to donate to the MRA Education Fund for every MRA member establishment that joins. The GiftAMeal app has 40,000 users and already has provided 650,000 meals to those in need. It is Glantz’s hope that the partnership will extend GiftAMeal’s impact even further.
The MRA partnership isn’t the company’s only big news: As reported in the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, GiftAMeal is one of two companies to be awarded $100,000 from Arch Grants under the organization’s new Growth Grants program. Arch Grants is a nonprofit organization that provides equity-free grants and pro bono services to entrepreneurs starting businesses in Saint Louis. Its Growth Grants program is designed to further support companies that have previously received funding from the organization. Companies who receive funding from the Growth Grants program must match the grant with at least $200,000 in outside funding. GiftAMeal, which received its first round of funding from Arch Grants in 2018.
The funding was part of a $500,000 investment round which included a mix of new and returning angel investors. The funding will be used to expand staff, including a newly created Chief Growth Officer position.
While most of GiftAMeal’s 250 participating restaurants are in the St. Louis and Chicago areas, Glantz hopes the company will see further national expansion in the future. Based on the company’s recent accomplishments, that future may not be far off.