The National Restaurant Association Show® 2023 Makes Significant Charitable Contributions and Highlights Sustainability Efforts
Contact: Julie Franks, mdg; FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June, 22, 2023
CHICAGO (June 22, 2023)—The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show®, the largest foodservice event showcasing industry innovations and trends, proudly celebrates its impactful charitable contributions and sustainability initiatives during this year's Show. Recognizing the importance of giving back, the Show donated nearly 68,000 pounds of food to two local organizations in Chicago that focus on providing food to communities in need. Additionally, the Show continues its commitment to sustainability by minimizing food waste and adopting eco-friendly practices, including recycling materials and a digital-first approach. The National Restaurant Association Show, held from May 20 to 23, 2023, at McCormick Place in Chicago, brought together more than 55,000 industry professionals from around the world to explore the latest advancements driving the foodservice industry forward.
"We believe that as an industry, it is our responsibility to give back and support our local communities,” said Tom Cindric, President of Winsight Exhibitions. “The National Restaurant Association Show's commitment to philanthropy and sustainability is a testament to the caring and giving nature of the foodservice industry—the industry we bring together. By donating nearly 68,000 pounds of food to organizations in need and emphasizing sustainability practices, we demonstrate our dedication to the community and showcase the positive impact we can make when we come together. We are proud to serve an industry that understands the importance of nourishing not only their customers but also those who are facing food insecurity.”
The Show's charitable initiatives resulted in significant contributions to two esteemed organizations dedicated to addressing food insecurity in the community. As a result of the exhibitors' generosity, over 40,000 pounds of food were donated to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, an organization that has been providing quality, nutritious food for its neighbors across Chicago and Cook County since 1979. The Greater Chicago Food Depository serves as the hub for a network of over 700 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other programs, offering support to diverse groups including children, families, older adults, and veterans.
"The food donated from this event will provide the equivalent of 33,730 meals for our neighbors facing hunger," said Michael McFaul, Senior Director of Procurement at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. "We are so grateful for dedicated supporters like the National Restaurant Association Show that make it possible to address food insecurity and its root causes across our community, especially in times of increased need."
Furthermore, approximately 27,500 pounds of food were donated to Fight2Feed, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to ending hunger and reducing food waste. Fight2Feed rescues food from restaurants, chefs, and food distributors, repurposing it to create healthy hot meals for the community. The organization utilizes the donated space in McCormick Place's East Kitchen, which allows them to increase the number of meals they serve.
"This year's National Restaurant Association Show donations helped Fight2Feed serve and share 34,000 portions of food with community members in need and smaller pantries in Cook and Lake Counties of Illinois," said Jiwon McCartney, Founder and CEO of Fight2Feed. "With the support of socially conscious partners like the National Restaurant Association, McCormick Place and Savor, Fight2Feed has rescued over 4 million pounds of food and served over a million meals, since February 2021. We are grateful for the opportunity to make an impact on hunger and food insecurity in our communities."
In addition to its charitable endeavors, the National Restaurant Association Show prioritizes sustainability, implementing various initiatives to minimize its environmental footprint and promote responsible practices.
Partnering with McCormick Place has been instrumental in advancing sustainability efforts. McCormick Place's comprehensive program includes the use of energy-efficient LED lighting, resulting in a notable 12% reduction in the facility's carbon footprint. The Grind 2 Energy Program at McCormick Place converts food waste generated during the Show into clean, renewable energy, further contributing to waste reduction and environmental preservation. Moreover, the convention center's West Building features a half-acre garden rooftop, facilitating composting efforts and promoting sustainable agriculture.
Collaborating with Freeman, the Show's event services partner, allows the implementation of environmentally conscious practices throughout the event. The audiovisual equipment deployed during the Show meets the energy-efficient Energy Star standard, ensuring responsible energy consumption. Additionally, Freeman enforces a power-down policy overnight to conserve energy and reduce unnecessary electricity usage.
The Show takes pride in working with partners who share the commitment to sustainability. McCormick Place's sustainable practices have earned the venue prestigious accolades, including the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award and the EPA Food Recovery Challenge Award. Moreover, McCormick Place holds certifications such as Green Seal Certification, GBAC STAR Accreditation (ISSA), and Level 1 APEX-ASTM Standard Certification.
Cindric added, "We extend our heartfelt appreciation to our exhibitors and event partners for their invaluable support in making these charitable donations and advancing sustainability initiatives. Through a collaborative approach, we have been able to achieve meaningful results and make a positive impact on our local community.”
The National Restaurant Association Show is owned and operated by Winsight LLC in equity
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