Last month, four local breweries came together to brew a collaboration beer and help ease food insecurity in our area. Double Nickel Brewing Company of Pennsauken, NJ launched a new annual initiative and teamed up with Cape May Brewing Company (Cape May, NJ), Tonewood Brewing Company (Oaklyn, NJ), and Urban Village Brewing Company (Philadelphia, PA) for their inaugural charity brew, a “potluck-style IPA” called “Friends Giving”.
The Friends Giving Initiative is pleased to announce that they’ve raised a total of $75,326 to assist area families in need.
“Friends Giving is our way of turning a little creativity, camaraderie, community, and collaboration into support for families struggling to put food on the table,” says Drew Perry, Head Brewer at Double Nickel.
The initiative supports local charities focused on helping food-insecure families throughout the South Jersey and Philadelphia region. In the weeks before Thanksgiving, the collaboration beer hit shelves throughout New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area, raising an initial total of $40,856.
“It’s exciting to find ways to give back,” says Dave Goldman, Head Brewer at Urban Village Brewery. “Beer doesn’t typically help people who are struggling, so when you can use your craft to help people who are, it feels really great to have that opportunity.”
“We were extraordinarily gratified to see so many of our suppliers donate ingredients, aluminum cans, and labels to the initiative,” says Chris Henke, co-owner of Cape May Brewing Company. “In the end, nearly all of the supplies needed to create this beer were donated in some form or another.”
Once the initiative was underway, Dietz and Watson of Philadelphia, PA, made a substantial donation to the cause, bringing the total to $75,326. Through the donation of much-needed high-protein foods such as chickens and turkeys, the Friends Giving Initiative is able to help this year’s beneficiaries — Cathedral Kitchen and Sacred Heart of Camden and Philabundance of Philadelphia — achieve their missions.
“In discussions with Cathedral Kitchen and Philabundance, we learned that they both were in need of high-protein foods, such as chicken and turkey,” says John Dalsey, Marketing Director at Double Nickel. “A large part of their mission is fulfilled through food education programs, teaching people how to prepare nutritious meals at home.”
These programs are typically made more difficult as the bulk of donated items are shelf-stable, packaged foods such as canned tuna and peanut butter.
“By partnering with Dietz and Watson, this donation will have a much bigger and more meaningful impact while feeding more families in our local communities,” Dalsey said.
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“The Dietz and Watson donation allows us to send our guests home with food for themselves and their families,” says Noreen Flewelling, Director of Development at Cathedral Kitchen, “which is important because people can’t always make every meal service. We look forward to working with Double Nickel and their fundraising initiatives in the future as we continue on our mission of using food to change lives.”
Through the initiative, Friends Giving was able to purchase Cathedral Kitchen a much-needed commercial dishwasher, greatly impacting their daily operations and assisting them as they work toward their annual goal of providing 125,000 meals to the food insecure.
“The donation from Friends Giving is special because it is helping us with broadening our impact,” says Flewelling. “The dishwasher is something that we’ve really needed for awhile. It is a crucial piece of equipment that we will be using everyday to maintain a food-safe environment as we continue to feed the Camden community, serving 125,000 meals annually.”
Inspired by the success and delighted by the support for their Friends Giving Initiative, Double Nickel has decided to create a charity called “Collabor-AID” to carry on the mission they began of turning creativity, camaraderie, community and collaboration into support for feeding local food-insecure families.
“Thanks to the tremendous support of our fans, an initiative that began its life as a fun name for a beer has developed into something much bigger than we could have ever hoped,” says Dalsey. “We received overwhelming interest in our mission of fighting food insecurity from other breweries, businesses, and charities. Creating Collabor-AID is our way of bringing that support and interest together, channeling that energy into support for our mission.”
Double Nickel is currently working on the next event for Collabor-AID which will take place mid-April. More information on future events can be found on Double Nickel’s Facebook page and website.
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