Reaching Nashville’s Hungry Through Their Smartphones

Pew Internet surveys from this year find 77 percent of people in households making less than $30,000 still have a smartphone. Credit: Bump via Flickr

Pew Internet surveys from this year find 77 percent of people in households making less than $30,000 still have a smartphone. Credit: Bump via Flickr

Nashville’s largest food bank is trying to educate hungry families about nutrition through their smartphones. Yes, low income families have internet-connected mobile devices.

A 2013 Pew Internet survey finds that even for people in households making less than $30,000, more than three-quarters have smartphones if they’re under the age of 30.

“For a lot of those communities – low income particularly – [a smartphone] is their Internet. There is no laptop at home, no DSL,” says Noel Manyindo of the National Urban League.

The plan for the mobile website is to feature nutritious recipes that help stretch food stamp benefits and foodbox handouts. Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee’s dietician is preparing video cooking demonstrations, all formatted for small screens.

The site is set to go live this winter. It’s part of a two-year hunger awareness campaign that Tyson Foods is funding in Tennessee. Company spokesman Jeffrey Wood says the poultry giant is trying to find more creative ways to help hungry families.

“For the last 10 years we’ve been making food donations all across the country – about 93 million pounds,” he says. “What we’ve realized is most of them look like two guys holding up a box and waving.”

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