Food and Beverage Industry Gives Back for the Holidays

The holiday season is often one-note frivolity — parties, parades, food and presents. And yet, it’s also about giving back. For the second year, Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc., with the help of 27 sponsors, is doing just that with its “Holiday Meals for Military Families” charity program.

Beam Global

Last year, Beam Global worked with Operation Homefront to deliver meals to military families in Fort Hood, Texas.

In conjunction with Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency assistance and morale to the troops, their families and wounded soldiers, Beam Global is bringing military families a sense of momentary joy and holiday cheer with the seemingly simple offering of a holiday feast.

Beam GlobalLast year, Beam Global gave away 500 pre-packaged holiday meals to families at Fort Hood, Texas, but the company wanted to do more. “How do we make it bigger and better in 2010?” asks Paula Erickson, vice president of global communications and public relations at Beam Global. “The need is very much there with our military men and women and their families,” she says, so the company took it to another level. To expand the program, Beam Global representatives decided to work with the company’s core hubs, creating a bigger and better program.

Looking to double its efforts this year, Beam Global will provide 1,000 meals total this year at three different military bases. The company will deliver 450 meals to military families at Fort Hood on Dec. 15 and then on to Fort Campbell, Ky., to distribute 400 holiday meals on Dec. 16 and Great Lakes Naval Base in Deerfield, Ill., to distribute 150 meals on Dec. 17. This number is set ahead of time by Operation Homefront, who qualifies families by working with its state chapters. Beam Global, with the support of other food and beverage sponsors, either contributes donated food items or donates money to purchase items for the food kit.

For example, BMI, a music company the collects license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers and music publishers, is doing its part by holding a fundraiser on Dec. 10 in Kentucky. The money made there will go to the program. Meanwhile, Meghan Leary, author of Whiskey for Women, will donate the November and December proceeds from her book to generate dollars for the program.

“Each company in their own little way is doing what they can to make this program bigger and to help servicemen and women, and their families,” Ken Ruff, vice president of on-premise national accounts at Beam Global, says.

This year, Nightclub & Bar President Jon Taffer and Vice President of Business Development Leo J. Squatrito will go to Fort Hood on behalf of the NCB team. “We are honored to be a part of this amazing program,” Squatrito says, “as well as have the opportunity to work closely with Beam Global and the other sponsors to support our troops and provide meals to their families during this special time of year. It’s so important to give thanks to our military families for all of the sacrifices they make on our own behalf.”

For Ruff, expanding the event was a natural progression, not only because of last year’s successful endeavor but because “everyone that attended the event wanted to be involved again. The look on the faces of the soldiers and their families, and the appreciation they have, makes it an amazing event,” he says.

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