Here’s some actually good news from the company that aims to be “everyone’s private driver.” Uber is partnering with No Kid Hungry to raise enough cash to feed 3 million hungry children this holiday season.
Anyone who uses the app today through Friday in all 100 cities where Uber operates in the U.S. will be able to donate $5 to help feed hungry kids.
Those using the app will see a “Donate” icon at the bottom of their screen. Click the icon and get both an UberX and make a $5 donation at the same time. The app will then take you to the No Kid Hungry campaign.
Campaign founder and CEO of Share our Strength, Billy Shore says each $5 donation counts as 50 meals to a child. “We think of each dollar being worth about 10 meals,” he explained in a phone interview. This means Uber and its riders will need to donate at least $300,000 by end of day Friday in order to reach the 3 million goal mark.
“This is the biggest start and reach that No Kid Hungry has ever had,” says Shore. The campaign has worked with big brands like Walmart but it hasn’t done something at this scale in this short amount of time.
In order to help reach that lofty goal, Uber will host UberLUNCH in ten different cities throughout the U.S. this Thursday. It builds on the concept of the UberFRESH food delivery service currently only available in Los Angeles. Popular restaurants like Michael Tusk of Cotogna in San Francisco and Sweetgreen in New York will deliver pop-up lunches on demand.
Kitchensurfing is partnering up with Uber on Friday to deliver gourmet meals from select celebrity chefs in Boston, Chicago, Seattle and DC. Some of the chefs will be making surprise visits to make meals in the kitchens of Uber users. Dinner is $50 a person and party size is limited to 4 to 10 people.
Every dollar from each one day delivery special goes back to No Kid Hungry.
Uber pushes out unique campaigns from time to time. Many of you may recall when Uber let us snuggle up to on-demand kittens or the time it let users hail ice cream trucks. This is the first time that Uber riders will be able to donate directly from within the app.
It’s reminiscent of the kinds of strategies Uber’s new campaign manager and creative political force, David Plouffe has used before. Plouffe, who helped put the No Kid Hungry campaign together with Billy Shore, made headlines with several clever campaign initiatives during Barack Obama’s presidential run.
“Uber is full of people who understand engineering and technology…the ability to give in-app speaks to the engineering talent,” Plouffe demurred.
The feeding kids while feeding us campaign comes at an opportune time for Uber. The ride-matching company has been marred by several troubling news stories that have overshadowed the one bright glimmer it had in announcing a $1.2 billion funding round last week.
Plouffe shrugged off the suggestion that the No Kid Hungry campaign might be a manufactured attempt to save face in the unforgiving eyes of the tech public. “We’ve been talking about this campaign for two months,” said Plouffe over the phone. “its an opportune time to feed hungry kids.”