It’s been said repeatedly that no industry combines work and pleasure quite like foodservice. And while that’s undoubtedly true, the foodservice industry stands out in another significant way as well: through its generosity.

The industry landscape is dotted with a variety of foodservice-related charities, such as Second Harvest, Share Our Strength and many others — far too many to list here. An absolutely heart-warming trend that continues to grow within the industry is the inclusion of a foodservice-related philanthropic activity occurring alongside the many conferences that consume our calendars.

For example, this past summer in Minneapolis during the organization’s annual conference, the Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF) brought together its members and sponsors in support of Open Arms of Minnesota, a nonprofit that cooks and delivers free, nutritious meals to people with life-threatening illnesses in the Twin Cities. AHF members and sponsors assembled 1,200 “blizzard” boxes, which are stocked with healthy, shelf-stable food that recipients can keep on hand and use in case Open Arms is unable to make a regular delivery due to severe winter weather. The spirit of the industry was on full display during this afternoon session as people came together to support those in need. I was proud to be a part of this activity.

AHF’s support of Open Arms of Minnesota, though, represents but one example of the greater good the foodservice industry does on a regular basis. The stories of foodservice professionals doing well by doing good for others can be both heartwarming and inspirational. And they are stories that we at FE&S love to share with our readers.

Are you or your company involved with a charity? What drives you and your firm to make a difference? What lessons have you learned from these experiences? If you are comfortable discussing your philanthropic experiences with the readers of FE&S, please send an email my way to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we can explore ways to share these successes with the foodservice industry.

Here’s wishing you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season and a prosperous new year!

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