Google users in Brazil can now look for for soup kitchens in Google search or on Google Maps and find the nearest food banks, pantries and soup kitchens. The goal is to create a network to help institutions that support vulnerable people to find food distribution places and free meals. The sites will also function as collection points for groceries donations. This is an initiative by Google Brazil and Ação da Cidadania, a partner NGO that received technical support from the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger Brazil.
The new tool was presented during the Google for Brasil event on Tuesday, June 14, in São Paulo. In a conversation with journalists, Daniel Balaban, Director the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger Brazil, said the initiative comes at an important time and has the potential to be replicated in other countries. “There are many initiatives in Brazil and the idea is to let people know where to look for food, and so that those who want to donate can also easily find the place. We know that this does not solve the problem of hunger completely, but it saves lives,” he said.
The mapping, which began in September 2021, is the first initiative of its kind in Latin America and the map already shows more than 1,000 points in all regions of the country. At this first stage, access to the information will be promoted by a temporary filter in the main menu of Google Maps, which will directly display distribution points. The mapping and data are updated by the solidarity network continuously, which makes it even easier to search the platform.
The WFP Centre of Excellence’s technical support to Ação da Cidadania included the collection and systematization of data on international initiatives; support with the methodology of selection of points and articulation with other partners; and informative materials to selected places.
Who can register?
Food banks, pantries and soup kitchens under the coordination of non-profit civil society entities/leaders may be part of the network. Registration is free and must be done through the Ação da Cidadania website. From there, a process of evaluation of is carried out, observing criteria such as performance, public serviced, time of existence, structure and governance. All approved entities will have access to the Network of Partners supporting Ação da Cidadania and the informative and guiding content prepared by the NGO with the support of the WFP Centre of Excellence.