Feeding New York: How Spare is Closing the Meal Gap

By Jillian Yoo, Fordham University student.

Fordham University alumna Andra Tomsa, founder of Spare NYC and social entrepreneur, visited Michael Pirson’s Sustainable Business class and wowed students with the story of Spare. World hunger is one of the largest problems facing society today and it often seems like a daunting, even impossible task to solve. Tomsa, however, saw a need and created a solution that significantly contributes to closing the meal gap in New York City.

Spare is an application that functions through the “round-up” idea. The app contains advanced tech software that allows users to round up their dine-out bill to the nearest dollar, with that donation supporting the Food Bank for New York City & City Harvest. What is so ingenious about this application is that people are inclined to tip or donate when they are out at restaurants or bars treating themselves. Since Tomsa worked as a bartender, she recognized the behavior of people in these settings and the idea for Spare was born. Since the actual amount donated is relatively small, people are more inclined to make the donation. However, this system is extremely scalable and has been able to feed thousands of New Yorkers.

Tomsa’s goal is to close the NYC meal gap in one year. She is definitely on her way there, with thousands of users and many partner restaurants. Her strategy with partner restaurants is another innovative aspect of her business. By adding this component to the app, Spare has gotten public recognition, more users, and has grown immensely. Spare also brings new customers to these restaurants – a win-win for everyone.

The story of how Tomsa went from a confused college student to the founder of a social business that is improving the lives of New Yorkers one day at a time is inspiring and more importantly, realistic! Tomsa shared with the class how her passion for helping others and her economics and business background enabled her to come up with something truly brilliant. Tomsa represents one of many social entrepreneurs today who are working to make real impacts on huge world problems. To learn more about Spare, click here and help feed New York today!