10 Food & Beverage Nonprofits Who Are Changing The World
Check out this list of national organizations that are working to change the food & beverage space for the better, to support & educate their communities, and change the world.
Beer Kulture organizes collaborative partnerships to support the needs of the BIPOC community. Image courtesy of Beer Kulture.
You know firsthand that the hospitality industry is all about community and giving back, and partnering with a local charity is the perfect way to create buzz around a cause you care about.
Plus, it’s a great way to connect with your guests on a deeper, more personal level. You can show that your values genuinely align with theirs, and they’ll likely spread the word about the good work you’re doing. Let’s dive into a list of national organizations doing great things for our industry, and our communities.
Craft Beer-Specific Causes
To support industry workers and businesses in the craft beverage community when they experience adversity and hardship.
On his way home after closing down the tasting room at Dry County Brewing Company in Kennesaw, GA, Christopher Glenn was struck by a drunk driver. Left with a multitude of physical injuries and neurological damage, Christopher’s life as he knew it was never going to be the same. Christopher was one of the lucky ones to walk away with his life, but a life he must live with lasting brain damage and emotional trauma from that night.
After the accident, which took place in 2018, he was in a very dark place, unable to work or even think and process day to day tasks. “My wires were all mixed up,” says Christopher. “I sometimes lost complete self-awareness. I didn’t know who I was, where I was, why I was there.” It was in this state that he made the choice to brave the storm and keep living.
That’s when Bottleshare was born.
“I have a chance to live a second life while still in my first,” said Christopher, when talking to us about Bottleshare. “I want to share what I’ve received through the craft community and give people hope.”
It’s this tenacity and love of craft that drives Bottleshare’s mission to help industry workers in adverse situations—when they’re unable to work or pay the bills. With a vision of not only helping but uplifting our craft family, instilling hope, and celebrating life, Bottleshare supports industry workers and their families in the darkest of times.
Donations go towards:
Supplying grants to brewery owners, state guilds, and craft beer industry employees and their families to help with expenses when they are unable to work or pay the bills.
You can learn more about Bottleshare and Christopher’s story in this dedicated blog post.
Bottleshare Collective uplifts beverage industry workers in their families when they need help. Image courtesy of Bottleshare Collective.
To assist, inspire, and encourage women beverage industry professionals to advance their careers through education.
When Teri Fahrendorf quit her job as a brewmaster to travel around the country and work with other brewers, she recognized the uniqueness of her position: Back in 2007, a female brewmaster was a rare sight to come by. It was in her interactions with other female brewers that Teri recognized the loneliness many of these female brewers felt. Thus, The Pink Boots Society was created, and named after Teri’s very own pink steel-toed boots.
The Pink Boots Society educates, supports, and advocates for women in the brewing industry, where they are often underrepresented. PBS aims to provide mentorship programs for women who want to work in the fermentation and alcoholic beverage sphere—be it creators, product packagers, writers, servers, or those in between. The women support each other with seminar programs to educate members and help each other advance in both front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house careers by raising money for educational scholarships.
PBS has become well known in the brewing industry for their Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day, which happens every year in conjunction with International Women’s Day on March 8. Participating breweries and individuals strap on their pink boots and brew their version of their chosen beer style. Pink Boots Society receives a portion of proceeds from collaboration beers and puts it towards scholarships for members.
Donations Go Towards:
Supporting their 2,700+ members worldwide become the beer industry leaders of tomorrow through education.
To build a craft beverage industry where Black, African American, Hispanic, Native North America, Pacific Islander and BIPOC are actively included, recruited, retained, and supported. Beer Kulture organizes collaborative partnerships to support the needs of the BIPOC community in brewing and ensures diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values.
Since 2017, Beer Kulture has been changing the world, one beer at a time. Sounds simple, right? When an organization has the passion and determination to mentor, educate, and open doors so an underrepresented demographic can learn the art of brewing, then yes, brewing beer can change the world.
Beer Kulture “invites new drinkers to the party” through humanitarian assistance, educational programs, and compassionate community services in an effort to support black, African Americans, and BIPOC in their communities.
“Doing so builds organic and authentic trust within the community, [that] in which is the very fabric of how we can build a sustainable future, not only for the craft beverage industry but for the world at large.” – Beer Kulture
Donations go towards:
Helping Beer Kulture and their partners produce beer (and cider and wine). Funds made from the collaborations go toward the Beer Kulture Inc. Foundation. The foundation then financially supports scholarship programs, paid internships, grants (like the Sparks Foundation), as well as other local charities, Black-owned Businesses, families in need, school events, and more.
To create a positive relationship with the brewing community and other compassionate businesses in order to promote breast cancer awareness, support those fighting cancer, and fund life-saving research.
Most people know someone in their lives who’ve had breast cancer. Lisa White of White Labs is no exception. (White Labs is a team of biochemists exploring new ways to advance brewing—standing at the intersection of science, education and craft.) In 2008, Lisa participated in the annual Susan G. Komen Walk for her aunt, her cousin, and a team member, all who had been diagnosed with the disease. While walking among 4,000 others, all with a common goal, Lisa was called to create a branch of White Labs committed to helping breast cancer survivors and their families.
Beers for Boobs collaborates with breweries and nonprofits on beers and events to raise money to help those fighting breast cancer.
Donations go towards:
Funds raised go towards breast cancer research at the American Cancer Society, and towards creating merchandise for festivals, where Beer for Boobs educates women on how to perform proper self-examinations, learn about the warning signs and stages of tumors, and how to catch them early on.
A fundraising program where breweries craft great beers from a custom hop blend and donate the proceeds to ALS research.
In 2013, co-owners of Bale Breaker Brewing Company—Meghann Quinn, her husband Kevin Quinn, and Meghann’s brother Kevin Smith—helped start the Ales for ALS™ program with Mike and Cheryl Smith from Yakima Chief Hops and Loftus Ranches. Meghann, Kevin, and their parents have had 9 people in their family pass away from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The disease has no known cure, no prevention, and remains underfunded. Ales for ALS™ aims to change that.
How does it work? Each year, their hop farm, Loftus Ranches, and Yakima Chief Hops donate a blend of hops to select breweries across the country. These breweries select the quantity they would like, and receive their special blend of experimental hop varieties, free of charge. In return, the program asks that a minimum of $1 per pint brewed with this blend be donated to advance ALS research at the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI).
Donations go towards:
The funds raised go directly to ALS TDI’s research lab, where their research team works to discover and develop potential treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Image courtesy of Ales for ALS™
All 50 states have some sort of brewers guild or association formed to protect and promote the voices of brewers in their region. These guilds are nonprofits that support brewers, owners, and their staff through advocacy, education, and business resources. Don’t forget to support your local guild who works hard to support you!
Check out the Brewers Association for your State’s guild representative.
Regional Guild representatives from Arizona Craft Beer, NYC Brewers Guild, Kentucky Brewers Guild, North Carolina Brewers Guild, Alabama Brewers Guild, and Ohio Craft Beer at the Arryved CBC Happy Hour. Image by Eddie Clark Media.
Food and Restaurant Causes
To create opportunities for restaurant workers to come together and speak out about issues that affect their daily lives. Provide grants and opportunities to build a network of nonprofit organizations to serve restaurant workers and improve working conditions.
What if we could be doing more to advocate for restaurant workers? Fight for livable wages, racial and gender equity, provide help with mental health and substance abuse? The folks at the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation aim to do just that. The Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation was founded in 2016 by John deBary and Alex Pemoulie, two industry veterans with a vision for helping restaurant workers prosper.
According to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, “There will be a transformation of the hospitality industry when it builds businesses based on a foundation of equity, respect, and sustainable wages that allow all workers to pay their living expenses and save for the future. The Foundation yearns for workplaces where people of every gender, race, and immigration status are nurtured and have viable career paths toward greater fulfillment, where there is compassion and support for people experiencing mental health and substance use disorders, and where workers are free from harassment and sexual violence.”
Donations go to:
Supporting restaurant workers and helping them collect capital to grow restaurant businesses with the goal of improving conditions for workers.
The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home-cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever they may be.
The folks at The Okra Project say it best, “During the Middle Passage, our African ancestors snuck okra onto captive ships to sustain themselves and plant in the new world. Black Diasporic cooking traditions often use the okra plant for its versatility and it is often associated with health, prosperity, and community. In this spirit, The Okra Project hopes to extend free, delicious, and nutritious meals to Black Trans people experiencing food insecurity.
The Okra Project is all about taking luxury and making it something that’s accessible to the most marginalized people and disrupting the idea that luxury is exclusive.”
Donations go towards:
Feeding many Black Trans people with nourishing meals!
“For Black people, in particular, the kitchen is such a place of family lineage. It’s a place of community. It’s a place of love. Daily life occurs in the kitchen. And so to have that kitchen be filled with someone who looks, loves, and lives like you, is a luxury and a joy” – Ianne Fields Stewart, Founder of The Okra Project
Identify where there is a need for more diversity and equality in the restaurant, and respond with creative solutions. Create impactful programs, even small ones, that help the next generation of restaurant industry professionals thrive. Help the community get involved and give back.
In an effort to redefine what it means to give back to the local community, the LEE Initiative, an acronym for Let’s Empower Employment, works to help address the issues of diversity and equality in the restaurant industry. It was started in Louisville, KY in 2018 after Lindsey Ofcacek and Chef Edward Lee saw the need for more diversity, more training, and more equality in restaurants.
“We are in the business of hospitality. We are in the business of solving problems. We put the needs of our customers first. So why should it be any different when we approach the complex social issues that arise in today’s restaurant industry?” – The LEE Initiative
Donations go towards:
Community impact programs across the United States to help expand and heal the food system.
Image courtesy of The LEE Initiative.
Celebrate, support, and elevate the people behind America’s food culture, and champion a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity, and sustainability.
Established over 30 years ago, the James Beard Foundation celebrates and provides opportunities for the humans that make up America’s food culture. It aims to highlight the importance of food culture in our day to day lives, and is committed to supporting a diverse and growing community of chefs, servers, entrepreneurs, and culinary artists. The Foundation works to create a future where everyone has a chance to thrive in the restaurant industry by amplifying new voices and pushing for new standards. They call it Good Food for Good™.
Donations go towards:
Scholarships and grants supporting those in the food and beverage industry. Some examples:
Open for Good is the James Beard Foundation’s campaign to help independent restaurants survive the COVID-19 crisis, and stick around for the long term.
Women’s Leadership Fund is the James Beard Foundation’s program to support female aspiring chefs and entrepreneurs to build their leadership and culinary skills through mentorship opportunities.
James Beard also funds scholarships for the next generation of culinary artists, work study grants, and gives financial support for black and indigenous Americans in order to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs making America’s food culture more diverse and sustainable for everyone.