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Julia Guthrie
January 13, 2016

App Innovator: Feeding Families In Need with a Mobile App


Image-1Michael and his wife Kate

Although a wide variety of hunger relief programs exists to combat hunger and malnourishment in the United States, there are areas where efforts fall short. Some organizations have strict income limitations, which single out segments of the population whose income may be higher than others, but who still need help. Others have limited hours of operation and service capabilities. And some families lack the ability to travel due to transportation or medical issues.

Whatever the reason, Virginia-based Air Force service member Michael Couchman and his wife knew that hunger needs around the nation simply were not being met. And they decided to do something about it.

They created an organization called Feed-A-Family that aims to fill in the gaps: feeding hungry families despite the logistical problems that prevent other programs from doing so.

Feed-A-Family is essentially a web-based food bank. Families register themselves on the website, and the community donates directly to Feed-A-Family, which in turn takes 100% of the profits to purchase and deliver food to the families. Feed-A-Family's method gives families in need access to all grocer products, including healthy, fresh foods. In some cases they even deliver dietary-specific items due to allergies or infant needs, which many traditional food banks are incapable of providing.

In order to accomplish these tasks, including being able to fill in the missing gaps, Michael created an app with AppSheet called "i-Act" and published it on Feed-A-Family's website. Interested donors can use the app to browse families in need in their area and then donate to them directly.


Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 5.26.09 PM

With Feed-A-Family, Michael and his wife are addressing the needs of those families who cannot receive help from other organizations. And with his location-based app, local donors can ensure families near them are getting the help they need. The app even provides contact information when possible, so local donors can make direct arrangements with families if Feed-A-Family isn't able to for any reason.

"This has revolutionized the way members of a community can interact and better serve their own. In fact, I’m fairly certain that “i-Act” is the first of its kind nationally, and first in how we are enabling donors to locate and reach individual families in need. The AppSheet app facilitated that," he says.


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