Social Purpose Spotlight – Edlund Company, LLC
In NAFEM’s monthly Social Purpose Spotlight, a different member company’s individual social purpose story is featured. Perhaps reading about the creativity and dedication of these NAFEM members will inspire you to start a program at your organization or provide some new ideas to enhance what you’re already doing.
This month, we talked to Amy Jones, CFSP, CFO, Edlund Company, LLC, Burlington, Vt. Edlund has participated in NAFEM’s Social Purpose program since its inception and the organization takes part in a variety of activities dedicated to fighting hunger in their community.
According to Jones, Edlund has been involved for many years with the South Burlington Food Shelf, a local organization that supports farm to school education and a land sustainability program. The Food Shelf offers fresh produce for families and households to select and they partner with local chefs to prepare nourishing meals six times a year for 300+ people. Additionally, the company has donated to its state foodbank via #NAFEMFightingHunger since 2020.
Edlund doesn’t have a formal committee for organizing social purpose activities. Instead, notes Jones, “we generally encourage fellow associates to participate in what interests them. We support them with time and funds.” The company utilizes its intranet and bulletin boards to make people aware of upcoming events. They do, however, have a resource coordinator who facilitates participation in local programs and services so if people want to volunteer, they can typically find something that fits with their schedule and preferences. She adds, “I think our associates value the time spent with the goal of helping their community. I think they feel supported as a whole person in the process by Edlund.”
Edlund associates participate in a wide variety of local activities, including food drives, the Everyone Eats program and fundraising. They work with the local farm to school group and run cooking classes in addition to donating equipment to food banks and food education organizations. Edlund has seen a continual increase in the number of local people experiencing food insecurity, so the amount of local support has increased too.
If your organization is considering a social purpose initiative, find out who’s already engaged in community outreach. Jones added, “once we started to engage with our employees it came to light that many were already involved in some way. It gave us the opportunity to support them, and others joined the efforts and it’s grown from there.”
NAFEM’s Social Purpose program, #NAFEMFightingHunger, is back for its fourth year, with a goal of raising funds to support 5 million meals for those in need. When members donate funds, food or volunteer time to their local Feeding America member food banks, NAFEM contributes matching funds. This year, NAFEM will match up to $250,000 of member contributions to their local Feeding America food banks.
For ideas to start or enhance your company’s efforts, visit #NAFEMFightingHunger. Download the 2023 Social Purpose Toolkit to help with your planning. If you have questions or would like to be featured in a future Social Purpose Spotlight, contact NAFEM Headquarters, +1.312.821.0201.