National Restaurant Association Show® 2024 Celebrates Remarkable Charitable Contributions and Sustainability Initiatives

Contact: Julie Franks; FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 18, 2024

CHICAGO (June 18, 2024)The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, the largest and most influential foodservice event showcasing industry innovations and trends, proudly highlights its significant charitable contributions and sustainability efforts at this year's Show. Held from May 18 – 21 at McCormick Place in Chicago, the Show demonstrated its unwavering commitment to philanthropy by donating an impressive 84,081 pounds of food to local organizations, 16,000 pounds more than in 2023. Additionally, the Show reinforced its commitment to sustainability through various eco-friendly practices, reflecting the caring and responsible nature of the foodservice industry.

“We are incredibly proud of the positive impact the Show has on both our local community and the environment,” said Tom Cindric, President of Exhibitions for Informa Connect Foodservice. “By focusing on charitable donations and sustainability, we demonstrate our commitment to giving back and promoting responsible practices within the foodservice industry. We extend our heartfelt thanks to all exhibitors and partners for their invaluable support in making these efforts possible.”

Charitable Food Donations

This year, the Show donated 49 pallets of food, an estimated 47,700 pounds, to Fight2Feed, marking the largest donation to date. Fight2Feed, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to ending hunger and reducing food waste, 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. Of these 49 pallets, 21 were distributed on the same day to various organizations throughout Chicagoland, ensuring immediate support for those in need.

“This year was the most recovered year for Fight2Feed donations from the Show,” said Jiwon McCartney, Founder and CEO of Fight2Feed. “The Show marked a successful benchmark for our initiative to increase sustainability efforts with OVG at McCormick Place. Since February 2021, Fight2Feed has rescued over 5.2 million pounds of food and served nearly two million meals. We are grateful for the partnership and opportunity to continue making an impact on hunger and serving communities in need.”

The Show also contributed 36,381 pounds of food to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Since its inception in 1979, the Depository has been a vital resource, providing food for neighbors in need across Chicago and Cook County. It serves as a central hub for a network of over 700 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other community programs. The Depository addresses food insecurity and its 2 root causes by offering public benefits outreach and job training programs, ensuring no one in the community goes hungry.

“At this year’s National Restaurant Association Show, our staff and volunteers recovered more than 36,000 pounds of food,” said Michael McFaul, Senior Director of Procurement at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “At a time when the demand for food is still elevated throughout Chicago and Cook County, this kind of support is vital to ensuring that all our neighbors have access to the food they need to thrive.”

Sustainability Efforts

In addition to its charitable efforts, which include food donations that also contribute to sustainability, the National Restaurant Association Show prioritizes minimizing its environmental footprint. The Show works closely with its event partners—McCormick Place, North America's largest convention center, and Freeman, a leading global event services provider—to ensure comprehensive environmental responsibility. These partnerships enable the Show to utilize advanced sustainable infrastructure and implement effective waste reduction strategies. Key sustainability initiatives include:

  • Shuttle Service: The Show’s shuttle service significantly reduced the number of cars on the road, thereby lowering the overall carbon footprint of the event.
  • Digital-First Approach: Reducing paper waste by providing attendee information and resources through a mobile app, digital publication wall, and QR code-equipped event signage, allowing for easy digital access instead of paper copies.
  • Partnership with McCormick Place: Utilizing McCormick Place’s sustainable infrastructure, including LED lighting that reduces the facility’s carbon footprint by 12%, the Grind 2 Energy Program which converts food waste into energy, and a half-acre garden rooftop for composting. Additionally, all food and beverage disposable service ware was compostable and provided by McCormick’s food and beverage partner OVG Hospitality. McCormick Place has earned multiple sustainability awards and certifications, including the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award and Green Seal Certification.
  • Event Management Practices: The Show's event services provider, Freeman, implemented sustainability initiatives such as utilizing energy-efficient AV equipment and printing all graphics on recyclable substrates with non-VOC inks, which are free from volatile organic compounds that contribute to air pollution and health problems.

“Our dedication to sustainability and community support goes hand in hand with our mission to lead the foodservice industry into a responsible future. For many years, the Show has been committed to uplifting the foodservice industry in Chicago and supporting local communities in need. We are continuously exploring innovative ways to reduce our environmental footprint and give back to the communities that support us,” added Cindric.

Plans are already underway for the 2025 National Restaurant Association Show, which will take place from May 17-20 at McCormick Place in Chicago. For more information and to relive the highlights of the 2024 Show, visit

About The National Restaurant Association Show
The National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show® is the Western Hemisphere's most influential foodservice event showcasing industry innovations and trends. Each year (starting in 1919), the Show brings together restaurant operators and foodservice professionals for four days of celebrity-led demos, exhibits, sampling, education and networking. The Show unites a global community and enables exploration of the latest advancements in food, beverage, equipment, technology and solutions driving the industry forward. The Show is owned and operated by Informa in partnership with the National Restaurant Association. Visit for more information.

About Informa  
Informa is a leading international B2B markets, live and on-demand events and digital services group. They connect businesses and professionals in 30+ industries with the knowledge they need to learn more, know more and do more. Informa has hundreds of global brands, products and services and employs 11,000 employees in ~30 countries worldwide.

Informa Connect is a content-led, live and on-demand experiences business which connects professionals with knowledge, ideas and opportunities. Informa Connect, a community of over 1,000 colleagues globally, offers connection through events, media and research. They service a number of different industries including Foodservice, Finance, Bio Tech and Pharma, Pop Culture, Marketing, Law, Energy, HR, Sustainability, Construction. Visit for more information.

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