October 12, 2021 — After the success of Gift for Life’s “Feed the Hungry. Feel the Good.” fundraising campaigns during events in 2021, and in honor of World Food Day, Gift for Life has extended its commitment to World Central Kitchen (WCK) and its crisis-related food insecurity programs through 2022.
Gift for Life, the industry’s sole charitable organization, has raised more than $95,000 in 2021 between market week fundraisers and special events. The bulk of donations were directed to WCK’s Restaurants for the People program, which meets critical needs on two fronts: buying meals directly from restaurants and delivering them to Americans who need help – in 400 cities across 35 states. Gift for Life also raised $7,400+ for God’s Love We Deliver, an organization in New York City offering nutritious, medically tailored meals for people too sick to shop or cook for themselves.
“We’ve been so inspired by the generosity in our industry this past year,” said Cole Daugherty, chair of the Gift for Life board. “As we celebrate World Food Day with hundreds of other nations this week, I’m excited to imagine what we are capable of doing to tackle food insecurity in 2022.”
All of Gift for Life’s 2021 fundraising was virtual, with campaigns launched in connection with nine markets or market-related events. The fundraising for WCK began in Spring 2021 with campaigns connected with Home Textiles Market Week in March and 41 Madison’s Spring Tabletop Market in April. With Summer 2021, came the launch of “Feed the Hungry. Feel the Good.” with International Market Centers underwriting significant gifts at its Atlanta Market and Las Vegas Market. Market-related fundraising continues through year-end at four Clarion UX buying events – Las Vegas Souvenir & Resort Gift Show, Ocean City Resort Gift Expo, Smoky Mountain Gift Show and Grand Strand Gift & Resort Merchandise Show.
In addition to market-connected campaigns, fundraising also took place at industry-connected events, including Gifts & Decorative Accessories’ Retailer Excellence Awards and even personal occasions such as the wedding celebration of Ari Lowenstein, vice chair of the Gift for Life board of directors.
All members of the industry are invited to join Gift for Life in supporting hunger relief by donating at https://donate.wck.org/GFL2021.
World Food Day is an international day celebrated every year worldwide on October 16th to commemorate the date of the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945. Collective action across 150 countries is what makes World Food Day one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. Hundreds of events and outreach activities bring together governments, businesses, NGOs, the media, and general public. They promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all. #WorldFoodDay 2021 will be marked a second time while countries around the world deal with the widespread effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a time to look into the future we need to build together. For more information, visit www.fao.org/world-food-day/en.
Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) uses the power of food to nourish communities and strengthen economies in times of crisis and beyond. In 2020, with COVID-19 straining traditional food security safety nets like school feeding programs, city services and food banks, WCK pivoted to safely distribute individually packaged, fresh meals in communities that need support and launched the Restaurants for the People program to scale nationwide. This program meets critical needs on two fronts: buying meals directly from restaurants and delivering them to Americans who need help. To date, the program has worked with 2,500 restaurants to serve over 12 million restaurant meals and have disbursed more than $135 million dollars directly to restaurants owners in 400 cities across 35 states. For information, visit www.wck.org.
Gift for Life was founded by Peter Schauben of Appleman Schauben in 1992 in response to the tragic loss of industry lives to AIDS. The organization’s first meeting at the National Stationery Show brought together a cross-section of the industry’s leading publishers, market centers, sales reps, manufacturers and retailers – all willing to convene and work together towards a common goal. Since that time, Gift for Life has raised nearly $6 million for AIDS research, education, treatment and care through nationwide at-market events, cause marketing programs and direct donations. With COVID-19 temporarily causing cancelation of in-person events at industry markets, Gift for Life has pivoted towards online digital events for the balance of 2021, with a specific emphasis on COVID-related hunger relief. Adam Glassman, creative director of Oprah Daily, serves as Gift for Life’s 2021 honorary chair and spokesperson. More information is available at www.giftforlife.org.