GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — With so many people unemployed during the pandemic, the demand for emergency food assistance has grown exponentially. The challenge is finding a food bank online, many aren’t listed.
Thanks in part to the efforts of a 22-year old Gwinnett County man, the search is becoming much, much easier.
“FoodFinder sort of was born out of that digital divide, trying to make sure that this information on vital emergency assistance is as accessible as it should be," said Jack Griffin.
Griffin came up with the idea for his “FoodFinder” app and website when he was a 14-year-old student at Peachtree Ridge High School.
He told Channel 2 Anchor Jovita Moore the app and site now lists information for five of every six food pantries spread out across the U.S.
“For the vast majority of programs here in Georgia and in America that offer vital food distributions, it’s, you know, your local church. It’s a small community food pantry. That is very likely 100% volunteer run," Griffin said.
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Griffin was able to secure support from Google, that backing helped multiply the non-profit’s reach, connecting them with more families looking for their next meal. Then came the pandemic.
“We noticed the change immediately when the pandemic was really taken off in March and April, our average back then our average site levels, our traffic levels quadrupled from serving 700 people a day to 3000,” Griffin said.
FoodFinder plans to launch a “Giving Tuesday” fundraising campaign as the holiday draw near, but Griffin says you can donate anytime by going directly to the website.
He told Moore hearing from people struggling every day but never thought they’d need a food bank to validate what he believed as a young student.
“We’re really getting closer to that vision of anywhere in the U.S., any time of year. You know, people should be able to find if there is in periods of crisis, they shouldn’t have to jump through hoops. Let’s find where to get help for them and their family," Griffin said.
For every $10 donation, Griffin says “FoodFinder” can connect 250 families across the country with food relief.
Cox Media Group