By Nan Price, Content Manager MetroHartford Alliance
Photo: David Alan of David Alan Hospitality Group (left) donated thousands of meals to Connecticut nonprofits.
Connecticut-based David Alan Hospitality Group was supplying thousands of meal boxes to the state of New York when packaging regulations were modified. Owner David Alan needed a redistribution plan to ensure the perishable food wasn’t wasted and reallocate it to organizations in need.
“We always strive to help people. ‘Help people’ are the first two words of our mission statement,” explains David Alan.
“We believe we must come together in this ever-changing world and help one another. If we can all do our small part, we’ll be better off!” he underscores. “That said, we jumped at an opportunity to help those in need by way of producing pantry boxes that meet balanced food requirements and are adequate for one person to prepare three meals a day at home for three days.”
He adds, “The effort is extremely fulfilling knowing the impact it’s providing the end customer—someone who is food insecure. Food insecurity is a large concern of mine. I grew up receiving free lunch in school and saw the impact of not knowing whether there would be food for dinner.”
David Alan Hospitality realized they had excessive inventory when their New York-based program experienced a temporary speed bump, and they knew they could help those in the local community.
Knowing the MetroHartford Alliance can connect many organizations, Alan called MetroHartford Alliance Chief Investor Relations Officer Kate Baumann for assistance. “Kate is amazing,” Alan notes. “She connected us with various community partners, who were thrilled to receive assistance,” he says.
“David reaching out was a true act of giving,” emphasizes Baumann. “We were thrilled to not only connect him to organizations in our community we knew could benefit from his generous donation—but also connect him to organizations that have been asking us how they can help.”
The Alliance Team acted quickly to make phone calls and reach out to nonprofit organizations to find out if they could distribute the meal boxes in a quick turnaround time. Additionally, the Alliance Team connected with companies that could potentially help cover some of the food costs.
Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB) stepped up to fund some of the donations with a generous donation, which was used to help David Alan distribute hundreds of boxes to YMCA and YWCA.
“The effects of the pandemic have been devastating to the most vulnerable in our local communities where HSB employees live and work,” says HSB President & CEO Greg Barats. “We’re proud to support the MetroHartford Alliance and David Alan Hospitality’s immediate call to action, putting food directly into the hands of Hartford-area residents who are most in need.”
David Alan Hospitality Group also donated 4,000 loaves of bread to the Connecticut Food Bank in Wallingford and distributed 1,400 food boxes to the Salvation Army. Through a collaboration with the United Way, David Alan also donated 500 boxes to North Hartford churches, which have formed a Community Partnership for distribution of prepared meals.
Photo: David Alan Hospitality Group donates meal boxes to the Citadel of Love in Hartford.
The Community Partnership graciously thanked partners at the United Way of Central and Northeastern CT and the MetroHartford Alliance for making the connection and acknowledged volunteers for helping expedite the distribution of boxes to those in need while maintaining social distancing.
“We’re working with United Way to brainstorm how our efforts can spur into a continuous emergency response program that will benefit the Connecticut community by way of having a partner capable of producing these types of boxes,” explains Alan.
“Being able to help connect David Alan Hospitality to these organizations really exemplifies the work we do here at the Alliance and our efforts to help businesses in our Region,” says Baumann.
If your organization is interested in being part of current or future efforts, contact Kate Baumann at firstname.lastname@example.org.