OVERLAND PARK, KAN. – BEMA and its member-wide “We Knead You” campaign concluded in July with a $16,500 donation to Feeding America, the country’s largest domestic hunger relief organization.

The donation was made possible with the help of 21 BEMA member organizations and industry partners. The donation will provide 165,000 meals to families in need through Feeding America’s network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs.

The “We Knead You” campaign began in May as a way for BEMA members to actively support the hard-hit industry of quick-service and fast-casual restaurants by providing meals to these front-line essential workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. BEMA encouraged members to get involved to support these workers and their communities. For every “act of kindness” by a member company, BEMA donated $500 to Feeding America.

“Doing good deeds for others just feels right,” said Rowdy Brixey, president of Brixey Engineering Strategies and Training (BEST). “It really feels good. My associates and I gained so much from this experience and thank BEMA for challenging members to participate in such a worthy cause.”

To help its community, The Austin Co. reached out to a northeast Ohio-based bakery and asked them to provide names of some of their best customers.

“With names in hand, we purchased lunches from those establishments for caregivers at nearby nursing homes where some of our employees’ relatives are receiving care,” said Mike Pierce, president, The Austin Co. “In addition, we purchased baked goods from Edwin’s Bakery & Training Center and delivered them to the unsung heroes working tirelessly at the Cuyahoga County Department of Public Health. It was a win-win-win for all.”

Participating organizations included: A M King, AMF Bakery Systems, The Austin Co., Bundy Baking Solutions, Benchmark, BEST, Burford Corp., Colborne Foodbotics, Ignition 90, JLS, Kwik Lok, Mallet, Maverik Oils, MDG, Rademaker USA, Rexfab, Shick Esteve, Smith Bucklin, Sosland Publishing and SPF.