we did it - we launched the suma platform

published9 months ago
2 min read

suma friends:

Guess what? we did it - we launched the suma platform, an app to overcome the cost, privacy and payment barriers that prevent our communities from using their technology to access essential goods and services.

This holiday season we got a real time opportunity to put the app to the test with the suma holiday special, an all-hands-on-deck effort known internally as “turkey hacking.”

December 2022, our app helped community members stretch their money and save on food during the always-expensive holiday season by providing them with low-cost access to prepared holiday meals from Sheridan’s. Interested community members were able to register, load money into their suma wallet, select from 3 prepared meal options and select fulfillment options.

We’re excited to share that we met our goal: ¡50 community members purchased holiday meals via the suma app, collectively saving over $8000!

You can see the whole story on this slidedeck (works best using slideshow view), but we wanted to share some of the project highlights with you here, including:

*Working with Lithic Tech, Code the Dream and other partners like the Oregon Food Bank to develop a project concept: our first deal to get holiday meals out to our frontline communities.

*Finding our vendor partner, Sheridan’s, and setting our project goals: 50 users enroll in the app, load $10 into their suma wallet, and purchase and fulfill a discounted, prepared holiday family meal.

*Developing a communications plan, ensuring all of our communications materials (flyers, instructional videos, FAQs) were available in English and Spanish, and finalizing our community-based privacy policy.

*Launching the bilingual suma app on November 29, 2022. Lithic Tech and Code the Dream, our stellar engineering team, had the app ready for use in the span of a month.

*Partnering with B-Line, Sheridan’s, Hacienda CDC, Somali American Council of Oregon and Home Forward to get 50 meals into the hands of our users, despite freezing temperatures and brutal winds.


A couple final points:

->January 2023, we asked project participants for their feedback via a survey. 33 users completed the survey, and we learned a lot. But we want to highlight one important thing, and that’s the last question on the survey: would a user like to stay involved with suma. We’re excited to share that there is strong,enthusiastic support for our work and the suma app:

->We’ve got big goals for the suma app in 2023 (more vendors, more users, new sources of subsidy), and we’re going to pursue those goals in deep partnership with community members and with community collaborators like some of y'all that are subscribed to this newsletter. We’re looking forward to seeing what else we can accomplish with the app over the course of the next year as well as how we can further connect, grow, and learn from each other and the communities we serve.

alright, back to work, we’ll see you soon…


suma is nonprofit based in Portland, OR (USA), we create platforms for digital organizing, enterprise and justice.

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