No Kid Hungry’s interactive Free Meals Finder map helps families find food distribution sites in their local communities.
U.Group has extended its long-term partnership with Share Our Strength to launch the No Kid Hungry (NKH) campaign’s Free Meals Finder map, an interactive web-based tool built in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This work is an extension of the company’s ongoing support for NKH’s mission to end childhood hunger and poverty in the United States and includes aspects of web development, user experience, marketing, and program support.
No Kid Hungry’s success has been built on its ability to provide free, nutritious, school-based meals. However, with the public health crisis closing schools across the country, over 805 million school-based meals have been missed nationwide. To close the gap between meal distribution and the millions of U.S. families facing food insecurity, NKH engaged U.Group to turn their database of meal sites operating during school closures into an easy-to-navigate, dynamic map with up-to-date information.
The interactive web-based map, which launched on Monday, April 20 alongside a nationwide ad campaign, is equipped to support millions of U.S. families in need of stable nutrition sources during the health crisis. Available in both Spanish and English, users can search through the over 30,000 meal distribution sites filtering by day of the week, meal type, and location. The geolocation feature also includes pop-ups that display relevant location data like site name, address, phone number, days and hours of operation, and types of meals served.
“With daily changes to meal sites, distribution methods, and available resources, NKH knew having a centralized location with the latest information in visual medium would be critical,” said Clay Marshall, VP, Experience Development. “With usability top of mind, we worked quickly to create a tool that isn’t just useful from a technical standpoint—but could mean the difference between a child going to bed hungry or not,” he added.
U.Group CEO, Lena Trudeau, also emphasized the tool’s significance during this critical time. “U.Group is proud to be among countless organizations and individuals using their expertise for good during this global pandemic. The Free Meals Finder project allowed us to help No Kid Hungry build the technical infrastructure necessary for getting helpful information to families in need,” Lena said. “Partnerships like this show why collaboration is key during crises—and how moving toward digital solutions is not only smart now, but strategic long-term,” she added, mentioning the tool’s ability to scale based on future emergency response efforts.
The map is available here. The public is also encouraged to help spread the word about the resources available to families in need by sharing on social media. Sample share language and social media graphics, like what is shown below, can be found here.
*This tool was made possible thanks to No Kid Hungry, corporate partner Nestle Pure Life, and the team at U.Group.*