AUSTIN, Texas, April 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- COVID-19 has done immense damage to Austin's economy, much of it acutely felt by food businesses and their underlying supply chain. These businesses have seen revenues drop quickly, and it is incumbent upon members of the community to hold them high in this low time.
It was this thinking that prompted Cision, a global leader in public relations software and services, to reach out to their national corporate catering partner, Cater2.me, to engage with the latter's recently-launched Vendor Assistance & Community Support Program. Cision and Cater2.me then worked with local food vendor Two Spoons to deliver around 200 meals to food recovery outfit, Keep Austin Fed.
"Our mission since day one at Cater2.me has been to develop community at the office through locally-sourced food," said Zach Yungst, co-founder of Cater2.me. "The current public health crisis has not changed the core of that mission, but it has shifted the beneficiaries of our service. It has always been our goal to ensure that our local vendors, and the communities we serve, are taken care of, and we want to double down on that during this difficult time."
Cision initially donated a pre-planned team meal, but as the economic freeze deepened, so too did ongoing corporate catering budgets. To overcome this, the Cision team organized an internal fundraiser to continue the food donation and to support local vendors. Within two days Cision employees had raised thousands of dollars.
"Cision teams around the world are finding ways to give back to their local communities to address the fallout from COVID-19," said Hayes Davis, SVP of Revenue Operations at Cision. "These are challenging times for everyone, but they're especially hard for people facing food insecurity. Here in Austin, our team is thankful for the opportunity to partner with Cater2.me to help our neighbors in need get through this incredibly difficult time."
As part of Cater2.me's nationwide Vendor Assistance & Community Support Program, clients like Cision can sponsor a set of meals that are delivered to local food banks and food recovery programs; with all the work performed by a local food vendor. The vendor is paid just as they would be for a normal office catering delivery with Cater2.me donating its commission.
"We have been so gratified to see many of our clients sponsoring meal donations on behalf of their employees," said Cater2.me co-founder Alex Lorton. "Cision has been a great partner in this, and their meal donation is one of the largest we've seen yet. People may not realize it, but a meal delivery like this not only keeps hungry people fed, it can keep a food vendor's employees on payroll longer during uncertain times."
Justin Owen, the co-owner of Two Spoons in Austin, said, "Cater2.me has been a great partner over the years, and we were very excited when they approached us with this idea. It's programs like this that will hopefully allow us, and companies like us, to survive these very uncertain times."
Keep Austin Fed is also relying on corporate meal donations like this one, as food rescue opportunities have evaporated during the shelter-in-place order and broader economic shutdown.
"Keep Austin Fed's primary focus is on rescuing surplus food and getting it to those in need. Unfortunately, as businesses close their doors and people shelter at home, the availability of surplus food has dropped, while the need has become even greater," said Lisa Barden, Keep Austin Fed's Executive Director.
"A partnership with Cater2.me has been so helpful filling in those gaps, providing individual meals to those with limited access to nutritious food. We are thrilled that Cision and Cater2.me are assisting this process and keeping the caterers and their employees engaged."
In a joint statement, Cater2.me, co-founders Yungst and Lorton, and Cision's Davis, said, "We are glad to have found a productive and helpful partnership during these tough times that could do some good in the Austin community. We wish everyone a return to health and prosperity shortly."
Cision and Cater2.me plan to continue their partnership in Austin, and Cision aims to keep their employee-led fundraiser open until city mandates are lifted. Cater2.me is already working on further client-donated community assistance programs in Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, and other key markets affected by COVID-19.
To contact Cater2.me about setting up a local, vendor-supplied donation to an organization in your community, please contact:
Cater2.me provides customized corporate catering. Whether you need a one-time catering delivery or recurring meals, we bring delicious food from the best local chefs and restaurants to your table.From planning to on-site setup and feedback collection, we'll manage every aspect of your catering program.
Cision Ltd. is a leading global provider of earned media software and services to public relations and marketing communications professionals. Cision's software allows users to identify key influencers, craft and distribute strategic content, and measure meaningful impact. Cision has over 4,800 employees with offices in 24 countries throughout the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. For more information about its award-winning products and services, including the Cision Communications Cloud®, visit www.Cision.com and follow Cision on Twitter @Cision.
About Keep Austin Fed
Keep Austin Fed is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that gathers wholesome and nutritious surplus food from commercial kitchens and distributes it to area nonprofits that serve people in need. The organization's mission is to reduce hunger and help the environment by connecting surplus food with our neighbors in need.
About Two Spoons
Two Spoons is a grab-and-go wholesaler and caterer serving all of Austin and beyond.