I come from a “Modern-Orthodox” Jewish family that observes holidays and keeps the Sabbath as well as an adapted version of “Kosher.” My family eats food in the Dairy and Fish categories that are traditionally considered “Kosher.”
While I follow a more secular, vegan lifestyle, GiftAMeal has allowed me to connect back to my roots in Judaism in the form of blessings.
Before meals, many Jews say a blessing over their food, they thank God for providing them with the privilege to eat. Eating in general, and even more so, eating at restaurants, is a huge privilege. Restaurant dining in particular is often more luxurious, wasteful, and expensive than eating at home. Therefore, saying a blessing, giving thanks, or simply feeling thankful for food, regardless of religion, makes sense.
In our ever developing digital age, gratefulness is something that many of us lose sight of. We are all so quick to document our privilege, to brag to our friends about the last lavish meal or cocktail we tried - and we document it all via social media. What GiftAMeal does is provide an alternative, socially impactful way to hone this energy. GiftAMeal in its get-one-give-one-model, takes the place of Jewish blessings for me before a meal. It forces me to take a step back, realize what a privilege it is to eat the meal in front of me, and simultaneously, provide for someone in need. I’m also definitely more likely to dine at partnered restaurants. It feels good to do good, and when I can channel my desire to do good at a moment of privilege like eating out, I feel it’s a “win, win, win.” A win for the recipient of the free meal via Operation Food Search, a win for the socially conscious partnered restaurant, and a win for the consumer doing a good deed.
Religion, along with technology, is transforming. Prayers and scriptures are online, communities are more digitally connected than ever before, and secular society, with the help of shared digital information, is moving towards a more socially conscious mode of life.