How a restaurant app can help the homeless and break a world record at the same time.
True
Dignity Health old

Did you know there's a Guinness world record for the most people making sandwiches simultaneously?

I mean, of course there is; the Guinness Book of World Records was literally invented to entertain people with inane information while they're hanging out with friends.

Still, most of us probably don't think about simultaneous sandwich-making, especially not on a massive, record-breaking scale.


But then, most of us didn't create a brilliant dining app that saves people money when they eat out and also helps to feed the hungry at the same time.

That's the basic idea behind TangoTab, a Dallas-based startup that connects people and food when they need it.

Founded in 2011 by Andre Angel, a successful serial entrepreneur, TangoTab is a free app that lets restaurants offer discounts, coupons, and other incentives to diners, usually during off-peak hours.

It's a great model. Diners get some kind of perk like a free appetizer then spend more money on other delicious cuisine. Meanwhile the restaurant brings in business during its downtime, making money it otherwise wouldn't.

But it's not this clever discounting system that makes TangoTab special.

This is what it looks like when #YourMealMatters!

A photo posted by TangoTab (@tangotab) on

Every time you use the app, TangoTab also feeds a person in need through partnerships with local food banks and national hunger-related charities.

Every day, there are nearly 50 million Americans who don't know where their next meal is coming from. Meanwhile, more than half the country goes out to eat at least once a week, and countless restaurants are struggling to balance their wait-lists with all those hours the dining room is dead. So TangoTab connected the dots and thought: What if we connect all these groups for the benefit of everyone?

Since its inception, TangoTab has provided free meals for nearly 1.5 million people in need, and the operation has expanded from the Dallas/Fort Worth area to include Austin, Houston, New York City, Oklahoma City, San Diego, and the Bay Area, with more restaurants being added every day.

Food. Charity. Discounts. Food. What's not to love?

And as of Feb. 27, 2016, TangoTab also holds the Guinness world record for the most people making a sandwich simultaneously.

(You didn't think I'd forgotten about that part, did you?)


TangoTab rallied more than 2,500 people on a Saturday morning at the Dallas Convention Center, all of whom worked together to build 32,000 sandwiches to benefit area food banks.

This wasn't the first time that TangoTab broke the record, either. They had 1,363 people simultaneously making sandwiches back in February 2014, but their crown was usurped by Subway in August 2015 with 1,481 simultaneous sandwich makers celebrating the company's 50th anniversary.

The fact that a small company like TangoTab could mobilize an additional thousand people with their team of fewer than 20 full-time employees is already pretty remarkable. The fact that they did it all for charity was even better.

The success of companies like TangoTab reminds us what we already know: People like to help each other.

"Feeling good about your purchases and your role in the world" is not just some passing craze. To most of us, making a difference actually matters — and it makes a difference for how we spend our money.

According to Cone Communications, for example, 73% of millennials are willing to try a new product just because it supports a good cause, and 26% are willing to pay more for a product if they know their purchase will have a positive impact in some way. You can look at any of the in-depth research from The Millennial Impact project, and it'll tell you the same thing.

It's the same model followed by companies like TOMs, for example, which gives a pair of shoes to a person in need every time someone purchases a pair of shoes from them. There's also Newman's Own, which donates 100% of its after-tax profits on its delicious drinks and salad dressings to charitable groups for children.

Companies using their business model for the benefit of everyone? Now that's an idea worth celebrating.

Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
True

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

Keep Reading Show less

Lately, Twitter has been a rough place for famous Chrises. First Evans had his day on the trending side bar, and now it's Pratt's turn. With the way things are going, we cringe for what's in store for Hemsworth.

Earlier this week, Warrior Nun writer Amy Berg posted a photo on Twitter of four famous Chrises - Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pine, and Chris Pratt. "One has to go," Berg captioned the photo.

Pratt started trending as he was quickly dubbed the "worst Chris." And things just got worse from there. Until some real-life heroes stepped in and tried to address the situation, defending their co-star and friend.


Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less
via Witty Buttons / Twitter

Back in 2017, when white supremacist Richard Spencer was socked in the face by someone wearing all black at Trump's inauguration, it launched an online debate, "Is it OK to punch a Nazi?"

The essential nature of the debate was whether it was acceptable for people to act violently towards someone with repugnant reviews, even if they were being peaceful. Some suggested people should confront them peacefully by engaging in a debate or at least make them feel uncomfortable being Nazi in public.

Keep Reading Show less

A photo of Joe Biden hugging and kissing his only living son, Hunter, is circulating after Newsmax TV host John Cardillo shared it on Twitter with the caption, "Does this look like an appropriate father/son interaction to you?"

The question is clearly meant to be a dig at Biden, whose well-documented life in politics includes many examples of both his deep love for his family and his physical expressions of affection. While his opponents have cherry-picked photos to try to paint him as "creepy," those who know him well—and who are in some of those viral images—defend Biden's expressions of affection as those of a close friend and grandfatherly figure. (And in fact, at least one photo of Biden holding and kissing a child's face was of him and his grandson at his son Beau's funeral, taken as a still shot from this video.)

Everyone has their own level of comfort with physical space and everyone's line of what's appropriate when it comes to physical affection are different, but some accusations of inappropriateness are just...sad. And this photo with this caption is one of those cases.

Keep Reading Show less