In Orange County, California over 27,000 school-age children have housing insecurity and one in five children struggle to avoid hunger. That’s why Smart Circle International conducts “Foodie Wars”, an annual employee food drive benefitting Families Forward.
Families Forward is a non-profit organization that supports one of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population – working families struggling to make ends meet.
Families Forward’s community food pantry serves over 6,500 individuals annually. “Our pantry shelves were concerningly low. We receive numerous donations around the holidays, but families need food year-round,” said Margie Wakeham, CEO at Families Forward. Summer is especially tough when nearly 250,000 children who receive free or reduced-price school lunch are out on break.
This year Smart Circle donated over 8,532 pounds of food. “Foodie Wars is a fantastic event. Employee volunteers at our Newport Beach office form teams and get competitive,” said Michelle Morales, Human Resources Manager at Smart Circle. “They coordinate group shopping, sneak food in, and wait until seconds before the deadline to run in with jaw dropping donation amounts. We must have had a Costco delivery truck here every day for a month,” said Michelle Kendall, a Logistics Administrator at Smart Circle.
Winners spend the day volunteering at the Families Forward Food Pantry. “It’s such an easy, uplifting and impactful event. We encourage other local companies to do the same,” said Jigna Patel, COO at Smart Circle.