Spring 2020
GSF Foundation Responds to Unprecedented Need with Coronavirus Community Relief
With Coronavirus impacting countless children and families, GSF Foundation and its volunteers from across the Golden State Foods family of companies have supported the heightened needs of communities where associates live and work. From relieving food insecurity to supporting essential workers, Foundation efforts have served neighbors in need and heroes on the front lines of this unprecedented global health pandemic .

"At this point, we understand that the immense needs of our most vulnerable community members will not let up any time soon. With ever-growing opportunities to help, I’m inspired by our local Foundation committees and their perseverance in carrying out our mission to help improve the quality of life for children and families in need."

– GSF Foundation Executive Director Tess McAnena

From micro-volunteering to large-scale donations, look to the generous associates of GSF when looking for the helpers in these unprecedented times. In steadfast service to others, hundreds of compassionate Foundation helpers have opened their hearts and given their time, talent, and treasure in response to widespread hardship and uncertainty.
Fast-Tracking Foodbank Grants
In March, Foundation leaders acted quickly to fast-track nearly $200,000 in foodbank grants through matching funds for local Foundation committees. Volunteers presented grants to their local foodbanks, while practicing safe social distancing.

“At the heart of Golden State Foods, we have our associate-led, associate-funded GSF Foundation that has already taken action to help children and families in need during this challenging time,” said Dr. Wayne Morgan, GSF’s Corporate Vice President and President, Protein Products and Operations Support Services, in a quote published by Food Engineering in its March 20 story about the Foundation’s initial efforts.
Making Meal Donations
Since late March, GSF Corporate Chef Glenn Lewis has teamed up with other local chefs to prepare hundreds of meal donations in GSF’s Chicago Innovation Center commercial kitchen. Repurposing donated ingredients, these meals have nourished more than 100 children and family members staying at four Ronald McDonald House locations, as well as doctors and nurses at Lurie Children’s Hospital.

"Golden State Foods partnered to create a satellite kitchen and use McDonald’s products that might otherwise go to waste in imaginative ways to create meals for RMHC families. Think Chicken McNuggets as the base for orange chicken, or Filet-O-Fish as the base for fish tacos! They delivered these delicious meals to RMHC Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana," reported McDonald's in its April 16 news release .
Helping Healthcare Heroes
GSF’s Protein Products facility in Opelika, Alabama donated 1,000 protective plastic suits to the East Alabama Medical Center (EAMC) in April. Healthcare workers at the local hospital desperately needed the isolation gowns, as their supply of personal protective equipment dwindled down to only a few days left. According to an EAMC executive, “This donation was just in time.”

The KanPak Dairy Products facility in Arkansas City, Kansas donated safety glasses to a local hospital to help protect essential medical workers. KanPak associates in Penn Yan, New York donated touch-free thermometers to local first responders to help keep the community safe. In Charlotte, North Carolina, GSF Foundation volunteers and their families wrote 100 letters of appreciation, assembled 100 snack packs, and donated 100 boxed lunches to healthcare heroes at Levine Children's Hospital in early May.
Relieving Food Insecurity
Foundation volunteers have expanded their hunger relief efforts beyond fast-tracked foodbank grants. Leveraging their expertise in food manufacturing and distribution, associates help fight hunger by donating food, transporting donations, and loaning out equipment.
Charlotte volunteers helped Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina transport donations to the convention center for a mass volunteer packaging effort. Denver associates provided the Food Bank of the Rockies with a long-term loan of a refrigerated trailer for extra cool storage of perishable food.

"The flow of produce donations has been very high as the supply chains try to adjust for the change in restaurant volume. Without this critical resource, we would have had to turn down a number of donations," the Denver-based food bank shared in an email to its supporters in April.

Orlando volunteers, with the help of Starbucks, donated 84 cases of ready-to-eat snack boxes to One Heart for Women and Children, which assists families experiencing hardship. KanPak Kansas volunteers helped Angels in the Attic unload truckloads of food donations.
For its neighbors in need in the Washington and Idaho communities, Spokane volunteers purchased and delivered foodbank donations. Seattle volunteers donated non-food items to Emergency Food Network and its partner programs, which have experienced increasing demand for items like sturdy cardboard boxes, body wash, and hand soap.

One of Golden State Foods’ newest distribution locations, Quality Custom Distribution (QCD) Boston, donated pallets of orange juice and snack products to its local food pantry and in turn, to first responders at fire and police stations, and to public school students who receive free or reduced lunches.
Supporting Customer Donations
In early April, GSF’s Protein Products team supported its McDonald’s customer donation to the Food Bank of East Alabama, which received 25 pallets of hamburger meat made nearby in the Opelika facility. As McDonald's noted in its May 1 news release , that’s nearly 500,000 quarter-pound burgers!

Starting in late March, QCD has redeployed hundreds of its fleet’s tractor-trailers and equipment to support customer food donations from Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, and Starbucks. Partnering with Starbucks on its “No Food Wasted” efforts, QCD transported thousands of pounds in surplus items like milk, pastries, and packaged sandwiches to U.S. foodbanks nationwide.
"Over the past few years, Starbucks has been partnering with local food donation centers across the U.S. and in support with QCD, has been able to donate the excess food to those in need," said Erin Kristek, Managing Director, U.S. Distribution CDC Network, Starbucks Supply Chain Operations. "As we manage through these unprecedented times, we have been able to leverage these existing relationships and QCD's expertise in food distribution logistics to support our communities."
Giving Around the Globe
Across the world, GSF associates help in whatever ways they can. This spring, more than 100 KanPak China associates contributed charitable donations, which received matching funds from the company. Resulting from this donation campaign that began in February, associates in China gave about $7,000 (U.S.) to support their local Red Cross in purchasing protective equipment needed for medical staff serving their community in nearby hospitals.
Conyers, Dallas, and Spokane Foundation Teams Lead 2020 Volunteer Hours
In the first quarter of 2020, GSF Foundation volunteerism collectively totaled 410 hours of supporting children and families in need in the communities where associates live and work. Congratulations to the Foundation teams in Conyers, Georgia , Spokane, Washington and Dallas, Texas for leading all local Foundation Committees in Q1 volunteer hours.
QCD Charlotte Volunteers Deliver Bikes
and Smiles for Miles to Local Children
GSF Foundation volunteers in Charlotte, North Carolina did not let the Coronavirus health pandemic stop them from carrying on with their annual Bike Building Program. In March, QCD Charlotte associates delivered 41 fully assembled bikes, along with helmets, locks, water bottles and Chick-fil-A gift cards, to their local Boys & Girls Club.

This marks the fifth consecutive year that QCD Charlotte has given back to its community through the Foundation's Bike Building Program. Although volunteers missed their annual tradition of building bikes together with the kids, this year's donation will still bring smiles for miles, as the children ride their new two-wheelers this spring.

Read more about this GSF Foundation core program in the story here .
GSF Foundation In the News
GSF Foundation's Hyper Local Philanthropy

In an April news story, the Orange County Business Journal covered how GSF Foundation has ramped up giving, including nearly $200,000 in fast-tracked foodbank grants, in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Golden State Foods CEO and Chairman Mark Wetterau told the Business Journal that charity remains a priority, particularly in public health and for children and families. GSF associates “support the communities where they live and work through the non-profit,” Wetterau said."
Suffolk Business Makes Foodbank Donation

In a story published April 16, the Suffolk News-Herald covered a local GSF Foundation fast-track foodbank grant and quoted t he Virginia Peninsula Foodbank's Director of Development, Donna Tighe, saying:

“This generous and impactful donation will help us provide more nutritious meals. We are so thankful and inspired by the team at Quality Custom Distribution, who believes in helping out their neighbors during times of an emergency.”

Read more in the full story here .
Sharing Your Stories
This spring, KanPak associates and their family members from Penn Yan, New York represented the  GSF Foundation,  while serving a nutritious hot meal at the Catholic Charities of the Finger Lakes Geneva Community Lunch Program. Together in tie-dyed Foundation shirts, volunteers have fun as a team when helping their neighbors in need.
Photo on Top: KanPak associates and family members volunteering together in mid-March 2020.
Photos Below: Volunteer activities continue in April 2020 with face masks and extra hand-washing.
"During this time of uncertainty, volunteering to assist our community remains top on our Foundation’s list. Working as a team to provide hot meals and other essential needs gives us strength and satisfaction.”

 – Ann Mulvaney, GSF Foundation Penn Yan Volunteer
Meet Joe Heffington
GSF Chief Financial Officer Joe Heffington serves the national GSF Foundation as Fundraising and Resource Committee Chair . A GSF associate since 2010, he offices in Irvine, California at Golden State Foods' global headquarters. Here are five things to know about Joe:

  1. Joe and his wife, Heidi, have supported the Orange County nonprofit, Serving People in Need (SPIN), for many years. He currently serves on SPIN’s Board of Directors and previously was its Board Chairman.
  2. Helping the less fortunate is important to Joe. He recently supported a matching challenge grant from GSF Foundation for the “Help Them Home: A Giving Day For Orange County’s Homeless” fundraiser. Joe's efforts contributed to raising nearly $300,000 to benefit those in need served by SPIN.
  3. Originally from Fresno, California, he is a proud Fresno State Bulldog college alumus.
  4. Joe loves cars, enjoys watching Formula One racing, and still has his very first car, a 1965 Mustang that he worked on together with his father.
  5. A true car aficionado, one of his favorite sayings is “hitting on all eight,” as in cylinders in his Mustang’s V8 engine!
Sharing Your Stories
Foundation volunteers from North Carolina's QCD Charlotte location coordinated a micro-volunteering effort to thank local healthcare heroes. Collectively, associates and their families wrote 100 letters of appreciation, assembled 100 snack packs, and donated 100 boxed lunches.

A local community group, the NC Ghostbusters, helped make the special delivery to Levine Children’s Hospital in early May. The hospital said that this gesture of gratitude and support made so many people happy and means more than words can describe!
"Our Foundation Committee wanted to support the caregivers of our local children’s hospital and to get associates and family members involved in this process. With many at home due to current circumstances, we sent home GSF Foundation letterhead to include everyone in the letter writing to the nurses and doctors."

– Pete VanSaun, GSF Foundation Charlotte Co-Chair