Marketing Director – Thought Leadership FONA International,
Vice Chair, Bigger Table
For me, and I hope for you as well, this spring holds the promise of renewal and abundance. I am honored to share a bit about the unique and valuable partnership that FONA International has with the Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network and Bigger Table. Through these partnerships we have been able to connect in a deeper and more meaningful way with both our industry and local communities.
FONA’s founder, Joe Slawek, chartered our Cornerstone Membership with CFBN just before its launch 4 years ago. CFBN’s mission of “driving inclusive food and beverage growth through industry collaboration” resonated with Joe from a business perspective. CFBN’s inclusion of both large and small companies was a powerful concept because it’s rare to have the opportunity to positively impact and nurture entrepreneurial start-ups. This spoke to Joe’s own business story and success.
Last year, just before our worlds changed with the COVID-19 pandemic, CFBN’s charitable arm Bigger Table was born. A core team met virtually and decided to focus on one philanthropic initiative that could deliver a BIG impact to our local communities. Thirteen companies participated in the pilot and proved that industry members can join together for a greater cause to collectively have a tremendous impact on the community. Through donations of ingredients, formulation expertise, packaging, manufacturing line time and general industry knowledge, high-quality nutritious products were manufactured and delivered to local food banks and pantries to help support Chicagoland neighbors during this especially challenging time.
No one in America should have to go hungry. That’s why in 2021, Bigger Table has set sights on growing its reach and expanding food insecurity efforts. We believe that by focusing on increasing our impact, we have the capacity to deliver at least 1.5 million servings in 2021 and up to six million servings in 2022, with delivery well beyond the Chicagoland area. We are actively seeking companies and individuals that want to spread their generosity, support charitable efforts, and invest in a program that feeds both body and soul.
Bigger Table goes beyond generosity – at FONA, we would call it generative. It’s not just about giving but about generating – about creating. Together with our colleagues we are creating goodwill, creating value for the community, and creating bonds and unity with one another. I encourage you to reach out to me or any member of CFBN or Bigger Table to talk about how you might join in this incredible organizational effort focused on strengthening our communities and helping eradicate food insecurity.
Like FONA and our partners at CFBN and Bigger Table, you can make a difference for your community, for our industry, and for families around Chicagoland. I invite you to join us.
Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
802 Wesley Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60304
Tel (312) 525-9653