NEW YORK —After the success this year of Gift for Life’s “Feed the Hungry. Feel the Good.” fundraising campaigns, the charitable organization has extended its commitment to World Central Kitchen (WCK) and its crisis-related food insecurity programs through 2022.
Gift for Life raised more than $95,000 this year 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 more than $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 [Oct. 16] 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 sister publication 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.
Everyone who wants to join Gift for Life in supporting hunger relief by donating can click here.
WCK was founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés and distributes 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. To date, the program has worked with 2,500 restaurants to serve over 12 million restaurant meals and has disbursed more than $135 million dollars directly to restaurant owners in 400 cities across 35 states.
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