Online food marketplace Shef will fast-track the registrations of Afghan refugees on its platform as it seeks to give them a stable source of income as quickly as possible.
Shef, an online marketplace that enables people to sell homemade food in their local communities, has announced that it has opened its platform to Afghan refugees resettling in the US. Shef says it will waive all fees associated with being a cook on the platform and provide additional resources and support services so that refugees can gain access to a steady income as soon as possible.
“We originally started Shef with the goal of helping new immigrants and refugees make ends meet. The platform was inspired by our parents, who struggled to rebuild from scratch when they immigrated here,” said Alvin Salehi, co-founder of Shef.
“What’s happening right now is unfathomable. We’re committed to doing whatever we can to help.”
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In addition to waiving fees, Shef will set aside $3,500 per refugee to help pay for cooking supplies, food safety training, and marketing for their new businesses. Afghan applicants will not be required to register on Shef’s 16,000 person waitlist, but instead they will be onboarded as part of a separate, expedited application process. Shef will offer support services in Dari (the most widely-spoken language in Afghanistan) to help refugees make their way through the onboarding process and begin earning money as soon as possible.
The online marketplace has also made an effort to mobilise its customer base in a bid to raise funds for the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. It has launched a donation program in partnership with Women for Women International – a non-profit humanitarian organisation that provides support to female survivors of war – for customers to donate directly to relief efforts in Afghanistan and contribute to emergency support services for refugees. Furthermore, Shef says it also will partner with local chapters of the Afghan Coalition to donate homemade meals directly to refugee families.