Anurag Jain, MBA ’95, witnessed these crises firsthand as chairman of the North Texas Food Bank’s board. Demand at the food bank surged 50 percent as 35 million people filed for unemployment and regular volunteers disappeared in mid-March. It was then that a conversation between Jain and Patrick Brandt — president of Shiftsmart, an online marketplace connecting workers with employers — came up with a unique partnership between their organizations to provide two critical solutions in one.
That partnership, called Get Shift Done, employs affected hourly workers in the hospitality industry to perform shifts for nonprofit organizations and institutions in need during the COVID-19 crisis. In the two months since its launch in North Texas, Get Shift Done has provided more than ten million meals at more than 60 locations across ten U.S. cities, registered more than 8,500 workers, and raised nearly $7 million to pay those workers.
“This is the hardest startup I’ve ever created, but the most successful because of all the people who we’ve been able to give food to and all the workers we have been able to pay wages to,” said Jain, chairman of Access Healthcare and managing partner of Perot Jain. “There are employees that are taking two buses just to get to work at our locations, and seeing how much this work means to them makes all of this worthwhile.”