Posted by Allison Boyer

Give Your Calories is a new app from Action Against Hunger that allows you to “donate” your calories to help end world hunger.

“Clean your plate! There are kids starving in Africa!”

I had a teacher in elementary school who was fond of yelling that whenever we didn’t eat our vegetables during lunchtime, and it never made much sense to me. It wasn’t like she was going to wrap up my leftovers and ship them to malnourished children in third-world countries! But as I got older, I realized that what she really meant is that we should appreciate what we have.

Now, there’s an app for that. (Come on, are you really surprised?)

Give Your Calories is a new app that allows you to donate your calories to people who actually need them. The concept is simple: take a picture of your food, and the app uses image recognition and a barcode scanner to calculate the calories you’ll be consuming. Then, it converts those calories into a donation amount, which you can choose to give via PayPal to the charity Action Against Hunger. You can manually add any snack or meal you photograph that isn’t recognized.

The app recommends a donation of $1 for snacks that contain fewer than 200 calories, $2 for snacks up to 300 calories, and $5 for snacks up to 400 calories. For every 100 calories you consume past 400, the app adds another dollar.

Action Against Hunger has an A grade from CharityWatch and has four stars from Charity Navigator. They have 4,600+ field staff workers in over 40 countries around the world. Your donations go toward programs to treat and prevent malnutrition, provide access to safe water, respond to emergencies, provide long-time solutions to farmers in struggling communities, and more.

Give Your Calories is also a way to open your eyes about the foods you eat. Often, we don’t realize how many calories we’re eating, So, if you’re struggling with a diet or trying to eat healthier foods, Give Your Calories is a great options. You might think twice about ordering dessert if you have to not only pay for it, but also donate money!

To date, nearly 200,000 calories have been “donated” world-wide. You can get Give Your Calories now for iPhone, and Action Against Hunger is working on an Android version as well.

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Allison Boyer is the Online Education Coordinator for NMX University, where you can learn more about blogging, podcasting, web TV, and social business. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister.