Why Giving Back is Part of Our Business Model
Food is our passion and our expertise, but it should never be our unique privilege.
At IN Food Marketing & Design we believe good business includes social responsibility. That’s why we invest a portion of our time, money and energy in combatting problems like food insecurity, poverty, illness and unnecessary food waste in our community.
Paul Newman, American actor, philanthropist and co-founder of the food company Newman’s Own once said “I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out.” Our team here at IN Food agrees: Paul was onto something.
Here’s where we’ve concentrated our efforts lately.
The Jeremiah Program
Last winter we rolled up our sleeves and traded our keyboards for cutting boards to cook dinner for families at the Jeremiah Program. This program, headquartered in Minneapolis, helps determined single mothers excel in the workforce and prepare their children to succeed in school. It also reduces generational dependence on public assistance—all around a wonderful organization to be involved with and a great excuse for us to cook together (as if we don’t already take every chance we get here at IN Food…)
Second Harvest Heartland—Click for Lunch
Our 7th annual Click for L.U.N.C.H campaign received enough clicks to donate 4,830 meals to Second Harvest Heartland’s Summer Food Service Program!
More than 40% of K-12 kids in Minnesota rely on free or reduced-price lunches, and our partnership with Second Harvest Heartland helps keep these kids fed even when school’s not in session.
For the second year in a row, we celebrated National Sandwich Day by making and donating over 100 sandwiches to Minneapolis Recreation Development, Inc., a local nonprofit serving homeless and disadvantaged youth and families in our community.
The cheese for these sandwiches came entirely from a client photoshoot. We didn’t want the delicious Cady Creek Farms cheese left in our fridge to go to waste, and since we couldn’t use it all ourselves we made sure it went to people who could.
Open Arm’s Turkey Drive
This Thanksgiving we participated in Open Arm’s Turkey Drive, and in doing so helped provide Thanksgiving dinner to families in the Twin Cities facing life-threatening illnesses.
Participants in this year’s drive collectively:
- Raised $61,288 thanks to 409 generous donors—a number that both exceeded Open Arms’ goal and set a new record for the drive.
- Delivered prepared turkey dinners to 188 families on Thanksgiving morning.
- Offered frozen turkeys and trimmings to 378 families to prepare with their loved ones.
We see time and time again that food is more than just sustenance for our clients and their customers. Open Arms recognizes this too—giving Thanksgiving feasts to families coping with severe illness as a way to nourish their bodies, and their hearts.
The University of Minnesota Student Parent HELP Center is a program that serves low income undergraduates who are pregnant or parenting children while pursuing their degrees. These hardworking students might not be able to afford holiday gifts for their children after paying for tuition, books, rent, child care, and other family expenses, which is why the HELP Center has set-up Gifts for Little Gophers.
A few of us snuck away from our desks to go Christmas shopping for one of these families—picking out presents for three little girls, one boy and their parents. Back at the office, gifts in hand, we cranked the holiday tunes and carefully wrapped presents, enjoying the knowledge that they would bring holiday cheer to a family in our community.
Cookie Cart is a local organization that creates opportunities for Minneapolis youth to gain meaningful work experience and develop leadership skills through food (specifically, cookies!) We love the work they do and were thrilled to design their new van. Keep an eye out for the sleek new cookie-mobile around town.
As part of our partnership, we also welcomed Cookie Cart students to our North Loop office for brainstorming and a Q&A session about our industry. These young people are engaged and inspiring—a wonderful example of the way foodservice organizations can contribute to positive change in our community.