Brent Freeman , the founder & CEO of tech startup Roozt.com (www.roozt.com), the world's online marketplace for brands that give back, knew that teaching social entrepreneurship to low-income high school students in his "off-time" would be an eye-opening experience. What he didn't realize was that one of the biggest issues his students faced was something most people take for granted: hunger. So Freeman harnessed the power of Roozt's business model to make a difference.
According to Feeding America, the leading hunger-relief charity in the U.S., food insecurity affects more than 50 million Americans each year, with 17 million of those being children.
Roozt has integrated hunger relief into its core mission, and has launched its "One Member One Meal" initiative to provide a meal to an American in need for every new member who joins Roozt.com. It's free to join, and the initial goal of this integration is to provide one million meals to Americans in need during the next 12 months in partnership with Feeding America. Beyond this milestone, Roozt will continue the "One Member One Meal" initiative to help as many hunger victims as possible throughout its business operations on an ongoing basis.
"Roozt's 'One Member One Meal' program is a fundamental integration of Feeding America into the Roozt business model and company DNA," Freeman commented. "We have an exciting opportunity to harness the power of our fast-growing community to directly help Americans who struggle with hunger on a day-to-day basis, and that's something we're very excited about."
As a leader in the Gen Y social entrepreneurship movement, Freeman believes that harnessing the power of a business model to create social impact is the future for all businesses. Freeman launched Roozt.com in March 2012 with the vision of creating an online platform that democratizes eCommerce and provides national exposure for socially conscious brands while simultaneously connecting them with everyday online shoppers who want to give back.
"It's tragic that in the 'land of plenty' there are over 50 million Americans who have to worry about where they will get their next meal," said Leah Ray, vice president of corporate partnerships at Feeding America. "We're proud to partner with Roozt.com to engage a new generation of shoppers to make a difference without having to change their everyday behaviors."
Roozt offers a proprietary storefront technology that enables socially conscious brands to create their own Roozt stores, control products, manage promotions, and track analytics – all while connecting them with an engaged shopping community that enjoys one simple point of purchase for multiple brands.
Since its launch, Roozt has established its leadership in the social entrepreneurial space and attracted funding and support from a growing team of investors, such as Steve Schimmel , who was the 13th Employee at Google and Ryan Scott , the Founder of Causecast.
In addition to its hunger relief efforts, Roozt is committed to fostering the next generation of business leaders through teaching social entrepreneurship in low-income high schools in Los Angeles. Freeman says, "Creating the leaders of tomorrow starts with educating students of today – and Roozt is fundamentally committed to helping inspire and empower these bright young minds to make a difference in the world through business."
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Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.