Right now, the world’s top creatives are gathered at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to celebrate the most cutting-edge and inspiring work from across the industry. A Lion is a crowning achievement of any creative team, and this year, a new mobile app designed specifically for the charitable food sector is among those groundbreaking innovations being considered for this prestigious award.
Earlier this year, New York City began its pilot of Plentiful, the first-ever mobile application for food pantry registration and check-in. A product of the New York City Food Assistance Collaborative, the app is simple to use, and free. Think of it as “OpenTable” for charitable food. It lets clients make reservations at their favorite pantry right from their phone – even a flip-phone – and helps pantries digitally manage their reservations and communicate directly with their clients.
Since launching, 72 pantries are registered with Plentiful and 24,000 services have been processed. Already, it has provided the Collaborative the data needed to make better operational decisions, and provided neighborhood pantries insights that help them better serve families in their communities.
“People are used to being in an atmosphere that doesn’t dignify their presence.”
— Lucia Russet, LSA Family Health Service
There is nothing more important than feeding your family. And whether you’re reserving a table at a fancy new restaurant, or a spot in line at your neighborhood pantry, no one should have to wait in line for hours to eat. This is what pantries want – for their clients to feel dignity. Already we’ve seen Plentiful provide it, by reducing wait times and allowing pantry directors to communicate directly with clients (in three languages, and counting!).
“The facility or the organization has to be a safe haven for someone to come and know that they can trust you, and you have to deliver services, says Swami Durga Das, Executive Director of The River Fund. “If [Plentiful] helps deliver services, then that’s a positive thing.”
*Feature photo via State Farm