World Food Programme's ShareTheMeal wants us to share the joy with those hungry this festive season

World Food Programme's ShareTheMeal
4 min read
22 December, 2022

At the beginning of December, the app from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), ShareTheMeal, launched its festive giving campaign #ShareTheJoy. The campaign aims to highlight the global hunger crisis by asking its community to share the joy (of food) with people most in need. 

“Joy multiplies when it’s shared, which is the basis for this campaign. Sharing being the core DNA of the ShareTheMeal app, it seemed natural to encourage our users to share the joy food brings beyond their own communities. We want to use the simple act of sharing food to save and change lives this festive season,” says Brand Marketing Lead at ShareTheMeal, Aiman Baloch. 

By making fighting hunger accessible to anyone with a smartphone and with ShareTheMeal’s powerful unique selling point: ‘feed a child with as little as $0.80’, it’s difficult not to give. 

"In a year of unprecedented hunger, individuals and communities play a big role in working together to help tackle this crisis"

With the gifting season in full swing, the app offers an alternative way to surprise friends and family (minus the shopping stress) with its ‘send a gift’ feature. Users can choose a goal in countries like Egypt, South Sudan, Colombia, and more, select how much they want to donate and a date for their gift to be sent. 

Launched in 2015, ShareTheMeal was set up to boost WFP’s individual donor giving where its community of millions of users (spanning over 200 countries, in 14 languages, and 52 currencies), can seamlessly send life-saving food to children and families in some of the worst-affected areas like Yemen, Syria, and Afghanistan. 

It’s important to note that ‘shared meals’ are so much more than just food, they can arrive in the form of specialised nutritional meals for children in schools, funding for community projects that rebuild irrigation systems, food packages during disasters, or cash transfers to empower people to make their own food choices.

The organisation has been quick to set up emergency campaigns during times of crisis, most recently in Ukraine. Users have donated over four million meals to Ukrainians inside the country helping WFP support almost three million people with food and cash assistance each month.

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In June, they launched a goal for victims of the fatal floods in Pakistan where the very real effects of the climate crisis led to deaths, evacuations, and destruction of infrastructure and crops. Over 30,000 people donated to the goal raising over one million meals. And in August 2020, a campaign was launched within 48 hours to support 89,000 people affected by the devastating explosion of Lebanon’s capital, Beirut

“This support is helping me buy gas [to cook], medicine, detergent, and other necessities for the family. However, prices are on the rise. I notice a difference every other week,” said Fatima, a victim of the Beirut Blast and WFP beneficiary.

Fatima at her home in Beirut 1 September 2020 [WFP/Hasan Noureddine]
Fatima at her home in Beirut on 1 September 2020 [WFP/Hasan Noureddine]

As conflicts, climate change, and the Covid-19 pandemic have caused global hunger levels to increase, concerns are growing about the world moving further away from its Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger by 2030.

In 2021, the number of people affected by hunger skyrocketed to 828 million – a rise of 46 million since 2020 and 150 million since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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ShareTheMeal sees power in community in tackling the hunger crises: “In a year of unprecedented hunger, individuals and communities play a big role in working together to help tackle this crisis. At ShareTheMeal, we believe we’re in this together, and therefore we continue to provide innovative solutions that empower people around the world – especially in places where issues like conflict and climate change are already having a detrimental impact on food security,” says the Head of ShareTheMeal, Desiree El Chebeir. 

Sahar Amer is a writer and journalist, and Copywriter for the UN WFP ShareTheMeal app