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Rethink Food Launches Rethink Certified Program by Supporting 20 New York City Restaurants With $250,000 Each, Revitalizing Small Businesses and Food Insecure Communities

·5 mins read

To date, the NYC-based not-for-profit has raised $30M in support of the program’s expansion

Today, Rethink Food -- an organization whose mission is to create a sustainable and equitable food system for all Americans -- announces the national expansion of Rethink Certified, their revolutionary certification partner program whose aim is two-fold: feed communities, support small businesses. Rethink Certified is committed to supporting community entrepreneurs and feeding neighborhoods impacted by food insecurity, not only during a crisis but every day. Created in April 2020, the program has since invested $10M into independent restaurants, providing economic revitalization to neighborhoods and over 2 million meals for those facing food insecurity. Having raised $30M to date, Rethink Food is now providing $250,000 to 20 individual small businesses, of which 16 are owned by women and people of color, in New York City, Nashville, Chicago and San Francisco. The monthly funds are distributed through fall 2021 according to the number of meals produced. The proven, sustainable model is revitalizing New York City with partners such as Katie O’s, Lilia, Collective Fare and Olmsted in Brooklyn, La Morada and Taste So Good in the Bronx, Adda and Estrella Latina Bar & Grill in Queens as well as Fieldtrip, Crown Shy and Kopitiam in Manhattan. For a full list of current Rethink Certified restaurants including these new partners see here.

Yajaira Saavedra of the Bronx's La Morada says: "Rethink is a strong ally and long-term partner, not just for restaurants but for the South Bronx community. Other organizations - they come, they help and they leave. Rethink is still here, they’re still with us. They’re committed to the greater vision of ending food waste and food insecurity, which is something that’s been needing to be fixed for a long time."

"Rethink...wow what can I say and where do I start?" says Kiana Muschett-Owes, of Katie O’s Soul Food in Brooklyn. "When the world was falling apart due to COVID-19, the one thing people were able to count on was Rethink Food. Rethink Food rethought of ways to provide good food to those that were food insecure during the darkest times of 2020. Many people were uncertain, jobless, hungry, and losing loved ones. But the one thing that was sure and consistent was the love from Rethink Food to the people through food!"

"With Rethink Food as a partner, we have created a win-win-win outcome: Gertie is staying alive, we've kept much of our team employed, and we are feeding the greater community in need," says Nate Adler, owner of Gertie in Williamsburg.

Rethink Certified is a solution for the entire hospitality industry -- from the most lauded restaurants in the world to the beloved mom & pop joints on the corner. To continue its successful growth, Rethink Food has enlisted culinary leaders such as Dominique Crenn (Petit Crenn), JJ Johnson (Fieldtrip), Stephanie Izard (Girl and The Goat), Sean Brock (Audrey), Jon Gray (Ghetto Gastro), Danny Meyer (Union Square Hospitality Group), Sean Feeney (Grovehouse) and Eric Demby (Smorgasburg) for their guidance on community development in their home cities. Alongside Rethink Food’s leadership, the movement is led by the organization’s co-founder, chef Daniel Humm, and made possible through philanthropy and partnerships with American Express, Brookfield Properties, Impossible Foods, The Alphadyne Foundation, The Barakett Family and J Baker Foundation.

Through Rethink Food’s current fundraising campaign, the goal is to certify over 400 small, independent restaurants and serve 27 million meals by the end of 2021. Coming soon, Rethink Food will debut a pioneering, back-end technology in partnership with Unqork, the leading enterprise no-code platform, that streamlines all operations - a revolutionary step forward in food insecurity transparency.

"Now’s the time to act - the current crisis has given us an opportunity to correct the current issues in our food system and there is a collective urgency to create lasting systemic change," says founder and CEO, Matt Jozwiak. "We are rebuilding by empowering communities to be at the heart of the solution. Community-based organizations are the backbone of emergency food options in New York City. By providing them with prepared meals, we hope to relieve the stress of food distribution at this critical time. Through Rethink Certified, small businesses and communities are nourished, and when nourished, they thrive."

About Rethink Food: Founded by Matt Jozwiak and co-founder Daniel Humm in 2017, Rethink Food is built on the fundamental idea that access to nutritious food is an essential human right. Rethink Food’s mission is to create a more sustainable and equitable food system in America by bridging the gap between the 70 billion tons of food that go to waste and the 42 million Americans facing food insecurity each year. To do this, the organization has developed a seamless process by which excess food from restaurants, hotels, corporate kitchens, and grocery stores including Trader Joe’s, Facebook, and Google is repurposed into nutritious meals for those in need and distributed through community-based organizations (CBOs) - both during times of crisis and every day. In April 2020, the organization debuted its Rethink Certified program with culinary partnership efforts led by co-founder, chef Daniel Humm. To date, Rethink Food has provided communities in need with more than 2 million meals. For more information: https://www.rethinkfood.org. Follow Rethink Food on: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201009005520/en/


Bianca Kenworthy