FEED THE WORLD
Unilever, through its leading brand Knorr, has provided P30 million worth of school meals for school children in Mindanao since it partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in 2008. One of their projects that worked towards ending the plight of world hunger was a social media campaign, which utilized the School Meal Facebook application. For every ’like‘ received, Unilever promised to donate one school meal to WFP. Another effort is the Food for Change event, a food fair where tickets were sold to help feed school children in the depressed areas of Mindanao at the same time allow access to tasting sample of dishes flavored with Knorr from roughly 50 participating food concessionaires.
Pizza Hut and Taco Bell Philippines are also supporters of the WFP. In 2012, funds were collected from a total of 150 Pizza Hut and four Taco Bell branches nationwide by encouraging customers to lend their support in various ways: by purchasing limited-edition postcards signed by World Hunger Relief 2012 Volunteer Shamcey Supsup; adding P5, 10 or 20 to their total bill; or donating through coin banks placed at all of the participating restaurants.
The food industry has never been as dynamic and as vibrant as it has been the past few years. But the businesses are not just all about good times and profit. Many of them extend their creativity and skills in providing more than just nourishment for the body. We have rounded up a few inspiring initiatives that give back to the community. Barely a few hours after typhoon Yolanda’s wrath revealed itself, the owners of Yabu: House of Katsu decided to donate a day’s net profit from all its seven branches to the victims. They turned to social media for promotion. They announced their plan via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and sought the help of bloggers. They had only two days to spread the word. “It was very well accepted, people liked the idea of giving back and at the same time eating good food. Some people lined up for four hours just to dine in.” Marketing Manager Denise Cabotage shares. The proceeds of the day were donated to the Philippine Red Cross for medical supplies and mobile ambulances. Yabu engaged in the same activity during two other previous calamities.
The support from the F&B community was widespread, with some establishments coordinating joint fund raising days and pledges to donate their sales for the typhoon victims, that continues until the present.
Yolanda is also responsible for the establishment of Kusination. Working with the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Kusination was able to cook on the spot and provide hot meals for the Yolanda survivors who arrived at the Villamor Airbase via the C-130. The brainchild of chef Reggie Aspiras, USDA Agricultural Marketing Specialist Ramona Singian, and PR executive Alan German, it is visualized to become a first response team for food. The plan is to be able to set-up a kitchen and prepare food in two hours, anywhere in the country that’s stricken with disaster. Part of the vision includes having a secretariat manage the donations and volunteers, to ensure that contributions are properly utilized and maximized. “This is really nation building, the private sector working with the government, because one can’t live without the other,” stressed chef Reggie.
CHARITY BEGINS WITHIN
The Marriott chain has a very strong Corporate Social Responsibility program. Called Spirit to Serve (STS), employees are given opportunities to help the community in several ways. At Manila Marriot Hotel, one is the monthly feeding program with Red Cross, where approximately 200 underprivileged children are given a good meal. After the devastating Habagat of 2013, their culinary team went around the different areas of Pasay to provide food to the affected families.
These endeavors are a source of pride for its employees. “STS initiatives receive high participation from our associates, whether it be through giving of their time, donation or skills. And they always say that this culture is one of the reasons they are proud to work for the company,” reveals Nina Quinto, Director of Human Resources.
EVENTS FOR A CAUSE
Lifestyle Network donated 100% of the ticket sales from the recent Around the Philippines in Small
Plates to ICanServe Foundation, to help promote breast cancer awareness. The event featured big name chefs who served one signature dish for the night. Ticket holders were entitled to a tasting portion of each of these dishes. “Most of the chefs just donated the budget allotted to them and contributed their services for free. It was an exciting get together for the industry players, a great opportunity to keep abreast on each other’s works,” observes Cyrene de la Rosa, curator of event.
Healthy living while helping others - such a sound idea from the ECHOtrio of Pacita Juan, Jeannie Javelosa and Regina Francisco. From ECHOstore, then ECHOcafe, ECHOfarm, and ECHOmarket, all the business owners wanted was to support local farmers, provide retail space and open new avenues for them while they supply the market with the best available products locally. These are organic, healthy produce with no preservatives, steroids, or chemicals mixed into them. “Now, it will even be easier to shift to a sustainable lifestyle,” says Jeannie Javelosa, Co-Founder of ECHOstore Sustainable Lifestyle and President of ECHOsi Foundation.
PRESERVING OUR HERITAGE
New York-based restaurateur and book author Amy Besa and her husband, Chef Romy Dorotan founded and established Ang Sariling Atin (ASA) Culinary Heritage Institute to champion the preservation of the culinary heritage of the Philippines as well as get a deeper understanding of the true palate of the Filipinos. Filipino traditions (recipes, old cooking techniques and traditional cooking equipment) are getting lost with today’s culture of convenience and ASA wants to ensure that there will still be something left for the future generations to appreciate. The organization is working on setting up community kitchens, inviting schools to let their students immerse themselves in indigenous cooking and other similar activities that will bring them closer to their goals.
Chef Reggie Aspiras, one of the motivating forces behind Kusination.