About This Episode

Jimmy Chen, founder/CEO of Propel and Ofek Lavian, founder/CEO of Forage, explain how they are harnessing the power of technology to ensure more people can easily access government food benefits.

“We believe that well-fed people have many problems, but hungry people have only one,” saysk Lavian. Both companies make it easier for people to access and maximize benefits online and through apps.

“We build technology because we see it as the tool that is underappreciated and underutilized in this sector to create the outcomes of… safety net programs meeting their promise for Americans,” says Chen.

Resources and Mentions:

Jimmy Chen

Jimmy Chen

Founder and CEO

Jimmy Chen is Founder and CEO at Propel, a software company that aims to fight poverty through technology. They are the creators of the Providers app (previously Fresh EBT), which enables EBT cardholders to manage their benefits, save money through grocery coupons, and find jobs. The app helps more than 2 million low-income Americans each month. Previously, Jimmy worked at Facebook, LinkedIn, and studied Symbolic Systems at Stanford.

Ofek Lavian

Ofek Lavian

CEO and co-founder

Ofek Lavian is the CEO and co-founder of Forage, mission-driven payments company democratizing access to EBT SNAP payments online through a single, unified API.  Lavian is a data-driven and mission-oriented FinTech leader, passionate about building technology products that improve the physical world. Prior to Forage, he led cross-functional teams of engineers, data scientists, operations managers, and designers to build frictionless payments products at Instacart and Uber.



Propel builds modern, respectful, effective technology that helps low-income Americans improve their financial health.

At Propel, we believe that tech hasn’t pulled its weight in solving real social problems. While tech alone won’t solve poverty, it can play a much larger role in building safety net services that restore financial health.

We believe that the best way to change the system for low-income Americans is to build a thriving business that aligns our incentives: a system where our business grows if and only if we help more low-income Americans improve their financial health.


Forage is a mission-driven payments company that helps merchants accept EBT SNAP payments online through a single, unified API.