by Brianna Crandall — December 23, 2016 — Nearly one in six kids across the United States is at risk of going hungry every day, according to global financial and professional services firm JLL. To make a difference in the fight against childhood hunger, JLL and online catering service ezCater have partnered on a bold initiative called CaterCares to donate funds raised through corporate catering orders to local food banks throughout the country. The Greater Boston Food Bank is the first recipient of these funds.
CaterCares combines the power of JLL, which manages 167 million square feet of U.S. office space, with the reach of ezCater’s online ordering platform, which connects businesspeople nationwide with more than 45,000 restaurants and caterers. Offered exclusively to tenants in JLL-managed properties, the formula is simple: tenants order meals for their offices or events through CaterCares, and in return they help to provide meals for children in need in their communities.
The corporate catering program was born from both necessity and opportunity, according to JLL Senior Vice President of Research Lori Mabardi, creator of CaterCares:
My professional role as a researcher who analyzes the economy gives me insight into some of the financial imbalances that exist today. Seeing how often our children are affected by these imbalances merged with my personal desire to protect them and led to the idea for CaterCares.
Stefania Mallett, co-founder and CEO at ezCater, added:
Taking care of each other is the right thing to do. When JLL tenants order their corporate catering through CaterCares, those businesses can — automatically, and at no cost to them — also make a difference in their communities. JLL tenants get access to ezCater’s great network of reliable local caterers, easy online ordering, and award-winning customer service — plus, they get the great feeling that comes from helping fight childhood hunger. How could you not do this?
When participating tenants within JLL-managed properties order meals through CaterCares, they generate ezRewards points, which are immediately topped off with a match from JLL and ezCater. The ezRewards points are then donated, as equivalent cash, to local food banks. For The Greater Boston Food Bank, a typical $250 corporate catering order placed through CaterCares provides a meal for 30 hungry children. Through a limited trial program, CaterCares has already generated funds to pay for more than 1,800 meals.
Catherine D’Amato, president and CEO of The Greater Boston Food Bank, commented:
Creative partnerships like CaterCares help raise awareness about hunger and bring much needed resources to help end hunger across eastern Massachusetts. We are grateful to JLL and ezCater for their commitment to helping children and families in need.
JLL, with support from building owner Morgan Stanley, debuted the CaterCares program this fall in two of Boston’s most prestigious properties: One Post Office Square and Rowes Wharf. The program is currently expanding throughout the Greater Boston region and will soon roll out to JLL-managed properties nationwide.
Dan Pufunt, JLL president of Property Management, stated:
We are committed to leveraging our scale, which includes 870 office buildings under management, to bring this program to many more cities and food banks across the country. We look forward to bringing this deserving initiative to other cities and showing that property management goes beyond keeping the lights on to making life better for the people in our communities.