It began as a routine check-in with local Atlanta BeltLine business, H&F Bread CO, (“H&F”) an Artisan Bakery and one of the largest manufacturers around the transportation corridor and trail network. As part of the Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) economic development department’s strategy to provide support and resources to businesses in the BeltLine Planning Area, Economic Development Manager, Kara Keene Cooper was calling businesses to find out how they were fairing and what were their needs in the COVID-19 atmosphere.
“I informed her that we wanted to give back to the community that has been supporting H&F for the past twelve years,” shared Brittany Brown, H&F Bread Co. Director of Business Operations.
As a wholesale bakery serving more than 400 commercial businesses and restaurants, H&F saw, like most other companies in the food-service industry, a tremendous decrease in business. Fortunately, large orders from local grocery stores helped keep their doors open.
“We were aware of how local restaurants were assisting with the needs of so many in our community that need help” Brown continued. “Our vision was to lend a helping hand and donate bread to families in need.”
Keene Cooper wasted no time in introducing the bread company to GOODR, a technology-enabled sustainable food waste management company and Atlanta BeltLine business located in the Old Fourth Ward, whose mission and driving force is to end hunger. A B-corporation that supports the non-profit network, GOODR manages the logistics of food pick-up and delivery between organizations with surplus food and non-profit organizations that deliver to end users, reporting real-time social and environmental impact analytics, which in turn, help improve bottom lines.
Like many businesses that have had to pivot their strategy in the last couple months, GOODR has had to expand its strategy to meet the growing and pressing needs of the community negatively impacted by COVID-19. In addition to forging new partnerships with entities like Atlanta Public Schools, which has provided a school as a temporary fulfillment center for food donations, or modifying their pop-up grocery store model from a neighborhood block-party feel to a drive-thru experience that follows CDC regulations, they have also expanded their activities to include onboarding out-of-work school bus drivers and providing home deliveries of more than 250 boxes of groceries a day directly to families in need.
“We are serving nearly 3,000 every week, so any donations can help us do more,” said GOODR founder and CEO, Jasmine Crowe.
Thrilled by the collaboration that will help the local community, including many Atlanta BeltLine neighborhoods and households, H&F plans to increase their initial donation of 500 loaves of Julia’s Table bread loaves to 1,000 loaves a week over the next five weeks.
“That’s what we try to do in economic development is tie those threads and bring those relationships together,” explained Keene Cooper, who was equally ecstatic about the new Atlanta BeltLine business collaboration.
“The economic impact of COVID-19 has been significant,” added Lynnette McKissic, Vice President of Operations at GOODR. “We have an incredible, socially-centered team who provide a high level of service to our clients… but we still need to find more wholesale distributors and create partnerships with more local groceries, as we’ve had difficulties getting bulk orders with the COVID panic buying. Getting the word out about what we do and establishing partnerships like this one with H&F is paramount to us meeting the growing demand in our city and beyond.”
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