Each week, the wonderful team at Made Foods prepares lunches for children in their neighbourhood.
Conversations between Made Foods and BB4CK began in May of 2017, and Made Foods quickly hopped on board to help feed kids during the summer months through the Food Finder YYC pilot. “We visited the BB4CK kitchen and started packing food, learning more about the organization, about how they help kids who go to school hungry. That visit was a big part of why we really wanted to partner with BB4CK to help them and help the kids.” Says Made Foods President, Chris Dobson.
“Over the summer, we made about 100 brown bag meals a week. Every Thursday, our office staff would come down and help package it up for us,” says Andrea Harling, Vice President and Executive Chef at Made Foods. As the summer progressed, Made moved from creating 100 meals to 60 meals a week. When the Food Finder pilot ended, Made was quick to partner with a neighbouring school, Third Academy, to provide 25 lunches three times a week to hungry children there.
Third Academy is a community school that offers specialized services and supports to address special education needs. At Third Academy, the lunches are a huge success, with the children finishing every bite! The teachers praise the healthy meals brought for the children in their BB4CK program and are so grateful for the support and care of Made Foods.
“The best part of it is that you get to see your meals and your food going out to help people, especially children. I don’t think kids should ever go hungry, especially going to school. You know it allows a certainty when they’re at the school, knowing that they’re going to have a meal show up,” says Dobson.
“Giving back to the community always makes a company feel better, and I don’t just mean the business itself, I mean everyone who works there,” says Harling. “Starting a program like this is not as hard as everyone thinks. With great organizations like Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, it’s pretty simple. They say this is what we need and from our side, it is logistically being able to put it together while understanding your own business needs. There’s always someone who can give you some advice on how to get started.”
In September, Made hosted an in-store fundraiser at one of their locations to help raise awareness and funds for BB4CK. Jennifer Taylor, Marketing & Event Specialist, shares that “helping can be in any capacity, whether it’s volunteering, helping at your own facility, or by hosting a once off event, there are a lot of different ways you can encourage your team to get creative to make a difference!”