Missouri Restaurant Association Partners with GiftAMeal to Heal Hunger Across the State

An influential state trade organization with roots dating to 1916 has teamed up with Missouri’s fastest-growing charity tech startup.

For the Missouri Restaurant Association (MRA), the wellbeing of its member restaurants depends on the wellbeing of the communities they serve. That’s why the trade association recently announced a partnership with GiftAMeal to bring the Missouri-based hunger-fighting app to restaurants across the state. The premise of the GiftAMeal app is simple: customers take photos of their purchases from partner restaurants, and for each photo taken, a donation is made to provide a meal’s worth of groceries through a local food bank. If a photo is shared on social media, another donation is made. Over 250 restaurants currently participate, and the program and its 40,000 app users have helped provide over 650,000 meals to those in need in Missouri. The program is funded by restaurants, who pay a flat monthly subscription to participate as a mix of marketing and giving back. As part of newly-announced partnership, MRA member restaurants will receive a discounted rate to join (details here: www.giftameal.com/mra).

GiftAMeal’s donations support local hunger-relief nonprofits: Operation Food Search in St. Louis and Harvesters - the Community Food Network in Kansas City. In Missouri, a state where 1 in 4 children now face food insecurity, the work being done by restaurants through programs like GiftAMeal is especially meaningful.

Kristen Wild, Executive Director of Operation Food Search, lauded the program: “GiftAMeal is engaging a caring community during a crucial time when even more people are experiencing food insecurity due to the pandemic.” She continued, “GiftAMeal plays a key role in helping Operation Food Search fulfill its mission of healing hunger. The donations made through GiftAMeal have allowed us to expand our reach, providing more people with access to healthy food. We are very grateful to GiftAMeal, its users, and its partner restaurants for advancing our cause.”

Valerie Nicholson-Watson, President and CEO of Harvesters, echoed this sentiment: "Every donation really makes a difference to help feed our hungry neighbors. We appreciate the support of GiftAMeal and the Missouri Restaurant Association in helping us succeed in our mission to feed hungry people today and work to end hunger tomorrow."

For their part, the Missouri Restaurant Association is no stranger to giving back — its ProStart Program touches the lives of thousands of teens every year, providing them with valuable skills, mentorship, and industry guidance by experts.