Andra Tomsa knows what it’s like to be hungry. Born into poverty in Romania, Tomsa made her way to the Bronx and earned master’s degrees in economics.
Now, she’s combining the skills from her careers in financial advising and hospitality to create Spare, a new app with the ambitious goal of ending hunger in her adoptive city.
The app works like this: Pay any food or drinks tab and Spare gets notified, then automatically rounds up your total to the nearest dollar, with the money going to support local hunger relief efforts. It may not seem like much, but according to Spare, 99 cents alone is enough to supply four meals to hungry New Yorkers.
“There are currently 235 million missing meals in New York City, and nearly one in five residents lacks reliable access to nutritious food,” says Tomsa. If just 10 percent of New Yorkers start using Spare, contributing $6 each per month, “we can close the hunger gap in just one year.”
The app tracks contributions in real time, showing the impact individuals and all Spare users are making. The funds raised support various food-related organizations in the city, including Food Bank for New York City and Citymeals-on-Wheels. Your contributions are tax-deductible; the app will send you a tax-ready record at the end of the calendar year.
Spare is free and available for iOS devices.