The Restaurant Facility Management Association launched its RFMA Gives program earlier this year. Its mission is to partner with charitable organizations that rely on private donations and use the vast resources of the RFMA membership. RFMA plans to select a recipient each year in the RFMA conference city. The 2011 conference was held in Orange County, California. The RFMA Gives program chose Someone Cares Soup Kitchen located in Costa Mesa, California.
“We were immediately smitten with their love for and the obvious impact that they had on their local community,” said Bill Wallace, RFMA Board Chair. “As we walked around the building looking at the possibilities, we became more and more excited.”
The Someone Cares Soup Kitchen began 25 years ago serving about 30 people daily with a mission to provide daily nutritious meals to the homeless, unemployed, mentally and physically challenged, senior citizens and needy children. Currently operated by Shannon Santos, granddaughter of the founder, the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen now feeds 58% of Orange County’s homeless.
The project’s budget was estimated at $100,000 and included new equipment and space renovation to accommodate the preparation of 250 to 300 meals a day. RFMA contacted its membership for help and the response was overwhelming. Throughout the project, local facility managers oversaw the work and RFMA member companies donated new and used equipment and provided labor and material at no cost.
By moving walls, redesigning space and utilizing new equipment, the results were astounding. The newly renovated facility can now serve over 600 meals a day and even has a food prep space so workers can now begin preparing for the next day.
“The success of this project is due to the excitement and cooperation of the RFMA members,” says Tracy Tomoson, Executive Director of RFMA. Joe Robertson of Right Way Facility Services put it best. “You can always tell when a humanitarian project is a success when the givers feel that they got more than the recipients.”
Posted 2/15/11 by Allison