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Fast Food Feel Good News

Loyal Burger King Worker Who Went Viral for His Goodie Bag Anniversary Gift Receives Over $275,000 on GoFundMe

Photo: GoFundMe

Kevin Ford, the Burger King employee who recently went viral for receiving a goodie bag after 27 years of loyalty to his job without missing a shift, has received over $275,000 in donations to a GoFundMe campaign set up for him by his daughter, Seryna Ford.

Seryna had this to say about her father’s story of loyalty in the GoFundMe:

Hi, My name is Seryna. The man in that video is my father. He has worked at his job for 27 years and yes, he has never missed a day of work. He originally began working at this job as a single father when he gained custody of me and my older sister 27 years ago. Then as our family grew and he remarried, he continued to work there because of the amazing health insurance that was provided through this employer because it was unionized. This got all four of his daughters through high school and college with full healthcare coverage.

My dad continues to work there, because though he does look young, he is coming up on retirement age and leaving would cost him his retirement. In no way are we asking for money or is he expecting any money but if anyone feels like blessing him he would love to visit his grandchildren.

Originally, the GoFundMe was set up by Seryna to help raise $200 for her father to go see his grandchildren. As of this writing, the GoFundMe campaign has raised $277,634, with even a $5,000 donation from actor David Spade, who wrote “Keep up the good work,” under his donation.

Kevin Ford has told TMZ that he plans on using the money raised to visit his family in Texas and purchase a new car.

Categories
Alcohol Drinks Feel Good

This New Ready-To-Drink Cocktail Gives Back To the Music Community

There are a lot of ready-to-drink cocktails out there. If you’ve read any of my articles here before, you know I’ve written about MANY of them. That said, Country Luau caught my attention for its mission to support up-and-coming musicians through grants and nonprofit partnerships.

Born and brewed in Nashville aka Music City, 2% of Country Luau’s profits go to Mixed for Music, which financially supports musicians through nonprofit partnerships and a grant program. 

“It is important to support the communities we work in and with,” said Country Luau Founder and CEO Adam Kost. “Our mission as a company is to bring people together, and nothing does that better than a great band and a refreshing cocktail. Hence, it feels natural to support local musicians to keep their dreams alive as they are huge drivers of local beverage and music economies.”

Inspired by the narrative style of country music and the laid-back vibe of the luau, Country Luau’s 12 oz can is highly sessionable (5% alc/volume), made with premium spirits and contains only two grams of sugar and 100 calories. Flavors include tropical twists on classic profiles, such as:

  • Strawberry Daq Shack — white rum, natural strawberry and lime flavors, sparkling water
  • Yuzu Ranch Water — blanco tequila, natural yuzu and lime flavors, sparkling water
  • Mango Mosa — vodka, natural mango, orange and champagne flavors, sparkling water
  • Pineapple Jalapen-Y’all — vodka, natural pineapple and jalapeño flavors, sparkling water

Country Luau is available in liquor stores throughout Tennessee and online with shipping to 38 states at countryluau.com/shop.

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Alcohol Feel Good News What's New

Stoli Vodka Raises A Toast To Ukraine With a Limited Edition Bottle

Over the past couple months, we’ve all been riveted by the war in Ukraine. And many of us have wondered what we could do to aid in the relief of the Ukrainian population. 

Stoli Group has stepped up on their part by releasing a limited-edition bottle of Stoli Vodka to benefit the country under siege by Russian forces. Proceeds from the bottle will be donated to World Central Kitchen (WCK), a non-profit organization founded by Chef José Andrés that provides fresh, nutritious meals to refugees fleeing Ukraine and those who are staying in cities impacted by the war.          

Drawing from the colors of the Ukrainian national flag, the geometric graphic pattern that adorns the bottle design is inspired by the communities around the world that have come together to support the people of Ukraine. The bottle launched globally as one of the key pillars in reaching the goal of raising $1 million for WCK by August 24th — to celebrate Independence Day of Ukraine.

“As Ukrainians continue to suffer unimaginable losses, we are doing our small part to show unequivocal support,” said Damian McKinney, Global CEO, Stoli Group. “This Stoli Vodka bottle will not only provide financial resources to Ukraine but is also a symbol of solidarity.”

“World Central Kitchen is grateful for Stoli’s support and commitment to our mission. They share our belief that a plate of food is more than just nourishment; it’s hope and a sign that someone cares,” added Jason Collis, WCK’s Vice President of Relief. “We appreciate Stoli’s quick movement to action and continued support, which will help us to serve meals as long as we are needed.”

WCK has served millions of meals across Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. Working with local restaurants, caterers, and food trucks to provide nourishing meals at border crossings, shelters, and other refugee communities, WCK serves more than 300,000 meals daily in the region. The limited-edition bottle follows a previous financial commitment to WCK from Stoli.

In addition to the limited-edition bottle, Stoli is launching a charitable cocktail program called “Cocktails for Ukraine” which encourages bars and restaurants to donate $1 for every Stoli cocktail sold to WCK. Consumers will also have the opportunity to make a direct donation to WCK by scanning the QR code on the menu that links to the Stoli Group fundraising page for WCK.

The limited-edition bottle in support of the Ukrainian people will be available for purchase in select stores in the U.S. and select countries around the world.

Categories
Beer Drinks Feel Good News What's New

Busch Light’s Latest Does It “For the Farmers”

American farmers face any number of challenges like severe weather, supply chain issues and inflation. Busch Light and John Deere are looking to give back to these essential workers via its limited-edition “For the Farmers” cans. 

Available May 16 through July 3, fans can purchase 24 or 30-pack cases of 12-ounce Busch Light cans with farming graphics that feature the John Deere logo and equipment. For each case sold, the St. Louis-based beer brand will donate $1 to Farm Rescue, a non-profit that provides critical material aid to family farms, up to a maximum of $100K, with John Deere matching Busch Light’s donation.

With the support of donations like these, Farm Rescue can provide hands-on assistance to farm and ranch families that have experienced a major injury, illness or natural disaster. 

“The ‘For the Farmers’ cans mark a legendary union of two iconic brands with a shared passion for supporting farmers and the great Heartlands of America,” said Krystyn Stowe, Head of Marketing, Busch Family Brands at Anheuser-Busch.

“This collaboration presents an exciting, valuable opportunity to celebrate farmers, the ag industry as a whole and the important work of Farm Rescue,“ said Jenny Ose, Director of Marketing, Agriculture and Turf, John Deere.

To bring further awareness to the challenges facing agricultural communities, the collaboration between the two brands will include Cornfield Cornhole, a free, one-day fan experience in Big Bend, Wisconsin on Saturday, May 21. At the event, a tractor and ground-posted slingshot will catapult hay bales wrapped in ‘For the Farmers’ graphics across the cornfield to reach an oversized cornhole board. There will be four rounds, with a group of lucky attendees competing in the final game to close out the day. In addition to taking in the game, fans can enjoy beer and refreshments from local Wisconsin food trucks. 

Categories
Alcohol Design Feel Good Food Waste News Sustainability

Johnnie Walker Debuts Paper-Based Bottle Made From Sustainably Sourced Wood

Photo: Johnny Walker

Here’s a toast to sustainability… literally. Diageo, the maker of brands like Ciroc and Don Julio, recently  announced the creation of the world’s first ever 100% plastic free paper-based spirits bottle.

Made entirely from sustainably sourced wood, the bottle debuted with Johnnie Walker earlier this year.

Created through a new partnership with Pilot Lite, Pulpex Limited is a new sustainable packaging technology company. To ensure that the technology can be used in every area of life, Pulpex Limited has established a partner consortium of world leading consumer goods companies in categories including Unilever and PepsiCo. The consortium partners are each expecting to launch their own branded paper bottles, based on Pulpex Limited’s design and technology, this year.

“We’re proud to have created this world first. We are constantly striving to push the boundaries within sustainable packaging and this bottle has the potential to be truly ground-breaking,” said Ewan Andrew, Diageo’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “It feels fitting that we should launch it with Johnnie Walker, a brand that has often led the way in innovation throughout its 200 years existence.”

Pulpex Limited has developed a scalable paper-based bottle designed and developed to be 100% plastic free and expected to be fully recyclable. The bottle is made from sustainably sourced pulp to meet food-safe standards and will be fully recyclable in standard waste streams. The technology will allow brands to rethink their packaging designs, or move existing designs into paper, whilst not compromising on the existing quality of the product.

Pulpex Limited’s technology allows it to produce a variety of plastic-free, single mold bottles that can be used across a range of consumer goods. The packaging has been designed to contain a variety of liquid products and will form part of Diageo’s commitment towards Goal 12 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’.

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Celebrity Grub Fast Food Feel Good TikTok

Lil Yachty Pulls Up To a McDonald’s To Show Appreciation To the Restaurant Crew

@lilyachty #ad Been a minute since I made a McChicken! I know how hard @mcdonalds ♬ original sound – lilyachty

We all love a good dose of wholesomeness on the news feed, so let’s dive right on in to this news of rapper Lil Yachty pulling up to a McDonald’s location in Atlanta to surprise and thank the restaurant crew.

Lil Yachty has a special place in his heart for McDonald’s, as he was once an employee. In the TikTok clip above we see Lil Boat dust off his McChicken making skills, chat with fans, take pictures and ultimately, show his appreciation to the crew for what they do and how they serve their community.

The video is due in part to McDonald’s new partnership with Yachty to kick off a new initiative, called Thank You Crew. It encourages fans to celebrate how crew and managers in their local restaurants are going above and beyond — then giving these outstanding employees their flowers with personal thank-you experiences.

Categories
Fast Food Feel Good News Restaurants

Jersey Mike’s To Donate All Sales To 2022 Special Olympics

Photo: Jersey Mike’s

For one day only, Jersey Mike’s locations plans to donate all sales to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. All 311 locations of Jersey Mike’s in California will participate in a “Day of Giving” on March 30.

Throughout March, diners have the opportunity to donate at more than 2,000 Jersey Mike’s restaurant locations across the nation, marking the 12th annual “Month of Giving” fundraising event for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.

Proceeds will go towards helping local athletes get to the USA Games, with an ultimate goal to raise more than last year’s $15 million fundraising benchmark.

Categories
Feel Good News

Kingsford Honors Black Barbecue With Fellowships and Business Grants

Black History Month may be over but Kingsford Charcoal continues to celebrate the contributions that Black people have made to barbecue culture by launching its second year of the Preserve the Pit fellowship. 

Last year, the grilling brand received more than 1,500 applications and awarded three barbecue entrepreneurs with an industry fellowship. Due to the outpouring of interest and inspiring stories, the program was expanded to also include 10 small business grants. The Fellows received training and one-on-one mentorship from industry leaders who share Kingsford’s commitment to honoring the history of Black barbecue.  

“We were overwhelmed by the response to Preserve the Pit last year and the incredible work done by our Mentor Network and Fellows,” said Ram Gopalakrishnan, marketing director at Kingsford. “While the first year of the fellowship was a success, we know that many of the same systemic issues in the barbecue industry exist today which is why we’re doubling our investment in the Black barbecue community.” 

Kingsford aims to name six aspiring barbecue professionals as Preserve the Pit Fellows. Ten deserving applicants will also be provided with grants to kick start their small businesses. Additionally, Restaurateur Pat Neely will be joining the effort as a new mentor alongside Dr. Howard Conyers, pitmaster and educator on the history of Southern barbecue, and the returning Mentor Network including Chef Kevin Bludso, FoodLab Detroit Executive Director Devita Davison, Chef Bryan Furman, “barbecue nerd” Rashad Jones and “barbecue heiress” Amy Mills.

“Working with the first class of Fellows and mentors last year was incredibly inspiring and rewarding,” said Dr. Howard Conyers. “I remain confident that through our shared passion, Kingsford, the Mentor Network and I can continue to provide resources and business opportunities to help future generations thrive in the barbecue industry and keep them connected to the culture and history of the craft.” 

Kingsford and its Mentor Network will select the 2022 class of fellows based on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, their connection to barbecue, contributions to the legacy of the Black barbecue community and commitments to fueling its future.

To further honor the Black community’s contributions to barbecue, Kingsford teamed up with artist-activist Brandan “BMike” Odums to create a special-edition Preserve the Pit bag, which is available for purchase at Walmart. The bag, titled “Pass it On,” is inspired by the Black barbecue traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation.

A portion of the sales* from the “Pass it On” bag will be reinvested into Preserve the Pit to continue to pave the way for future generations of Black barbecue enthusiasts. The piece has also been memorialized as a mural at the historic Black-owned Payne’s BBQ in Memphis, Tennessee (seen above). 

The second class of fellows will be announced next month.