Due to school closures as a result of COVID-19, Philadelphians facing food insecurity – a longstanding issue throughout the city – have found it harder to access healthy foods. Seeing the increased need in his community, Dunkin’ franchisee Sonny Ho felt compelled to help.
Through a donation made by Ho to the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia has been awarded $100,000 to support the new Meaningful Meals program, providing Philadelphia families in low-income neighborhoods with boxes of healthy food.
Twice a month from November through May, families can pick up 40-pound boxes filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy from seven participating schools. Each box of food includes QR codes connecting to nutritional information and recipes for preparing meals with the food provided.
To Philadelphians, franchisee Sonny Ho is almost as synonymous with Dunkin’ as donuts and coffee. Ho, who grew up in the area and attended Parkway Program and Temple University, got his first job as a crew member at a Dunkin’ restaurant at 16 years old in the mid-1980s.
Ho is now the CEO of his franchise network, Northeast Donut Shops Management Corp., which includes 45 local Dunkin’ restaurants (including the very restaurant where he got his start!) and employs 900 team members. Ho’s donation through the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation will give back to the school district that has given him so much, and to the communities that have supported his businesses throughout the last 30 years.
“It’s an honor to contribute to the School District of Philadelphia’s Meaningful Meals program on behalf of the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation to uplift nutritional education and combat food insecurity,” said Ho. “It’s important for Dunkin’ to give back to the communities we serve, and I am proud to have the opportunity to help local students and families during these challenging times.”
As a part of the Meaningful Meals program, families can sign up for a five-session series of virtual cooking classes from Eat Right Philly to create healthy and delicious meals with their food boxes. As part of the classes, they will receive other dry goods, such as pasta and spices that are not available with the food boxes, as well as small pieces of cooking equipment such as pots, pans and utensils.
You can help fund programs like Meaningful Meals by donating to the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, which is currently inviting Dunkin’ guests to bring joy and give cheer to children battling hunger or illness through the “Give Cheer” program. Dunkin’ guests can add a $1 donation now through the end of December to their mobile order at participating Dunkin’ restaurants.
In 2020, the Joy in Childhood Foundation will grant more than $4 million and has granted over $26 million since its inception. To learn more about the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation and the “Give Cheer” program, visit https://www.bringjoy.org/.
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