A nonprofit born out of necessity in the pandemic continues to fight hunger more than a year later.
"It is probably the most gratifying thing I've ever done," said Anurag Jain, co-founder of Get Shift Done.
"It's an amazing story from our prospective. over a million hours of shifts done. We've put 28,000 workers to work in some form, give about $20 million in wages, 60 million meals have been served in the process," Jain said.
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Get Shift Done connects hospitality workers who need a paycheck with food banks that need a helping hand.
Jain was chair of the North Texas Food Bank last year as the pandemic and shut down orders gripped the region.
Restaurants closed; workers laid off. Food pantries in demand. Volunteers unavailable.
In these desperate moments of the pandemic, an idea was at work. Food banks needed people, and hospitality workers who knew food needed work.
"We set up the nonprofit in 72 hours. It was kinda crazy, right?," Jain smiled.
As the then-chair of NTFB, Jain knew well it takes 32,000 volunteers to help get 90 million meals to the communities the nonprofit serves. Jain posed the problem to friend Patrick Brandt cofounded a labor management company called Shiftsmart. It connects companies with skilled workers who are able to sign up for shifts at multiple employers.
Brandt had the access to a ready workforce and Jain had a need for people to work at the food bank. Their brainstorming session led to Get Shift Done, a platform to connect the hospitality workforce to nonprofits fighting hunger.
Help to fund it came from all over.
"It was all virtual, but people communities, leaders, political leaders, nonprofit organizations and philanthropists all stepped up at every level you can think of," Jain said.
Fifteen months later, Get Shift is still on the clock and helping 110 nonprofits in 12 cities across the country.
With coronavirus cases dropping and the economy revving up again, many food banks that relied on help from Get Shift no longer need it. Volunteers are back.
But those areas still struggling to get back on their feet, Get Shift is still on duty.
"We're still here to support people in those areas as the economy completely recovers. And as the economy recovers, we're still seeing lines at the food bank. The need for food is still real," Jain said.