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Local company gives purpose to pulling your phone out at the dinner table

Giving back one food photo at a time.

Phones at the dinner table are just about as common these days as salt and pepper shakers, but a couple of years ago this millennial decided to give purpose to the annoying trend.

"So we launched this in October of 2015, but our big growth as happened in the last year," explains Andrew Glantz.

He's the founder and CEO of GiftaMeal.

"So you just basically scroll through the restaurants on the app sorted by location you choose the restaurant you're at, you take a photo there and for each photo you take we make a donation to operation food search here in St. Louis to help provide a meal to someone in need though over 200 local pantries in the area."

It's a socially conscious company he started while he was still a student at Washington University and in just a couple of years has donated more than 140 thousand meals to people in need.

"So each time someone takes a photo we're able to provide 1.2 pounds of food to one of these local pantries," he points out.

It can be a picture of food, a delicious drink, a selfie or even something on the wall.

"If you share that photo on Facebook or Instagram we provide a second meal as well so you can double your impact," Glantz adds.

It's a simple concept that doesn't cost customers a dime.

"So it's marketing for the restaurants. They pay a monthly fee to be on the app and that's where we get our revenue from then each time someone takes a photo of a partner restaurant we help give a meal to someone in need."

Anthony Scarato, owner of Anthonino's Taverna on the Hill, was one of the first to get in on the deal.

"People are doing this anyway, they're eating food, they're taking pictures of it and social media and why not join in and go to a good cause," he says.

It's a win, win.

"So one of my big goals with GiftAMeal is to show that a company can make profit with a purpose. Wo we want to redefine the way people think about corporate social responsibility, It's not making a profitable company verses giving back to the community we want to show that you can really incorporate the give back component so as you're able to make a more successful company you're also able to make a bigger impact," Glantz says.

So the next time you see a table full of people focused on their phones maybe it won't leave such a bad taste in your mouth.

You can go to the app store or play store and download the GiftAMeal app for free. Create an account using the promo code KSDK and a meal will be given in St. Louis right off the bat.

If you own a restaurant and are interested in joining send an email to andrew@giftameal.com