Unfortunately, that’s as close to a traditional Thanksgiving meal as many of our neighbors get. Not so for those receiving Thanksgiving meals from SDI client Food & Friends’ pie sales to provide healthy, home-delivered meals to individuals with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses. Now in its 26th year of serving the Washington region, Food & Friends provides free meals to its clients every week, with an estimated 3500 children and adults served in 2014.
Food & Friends’ pie operation, “Slice of Life,” takes place during the Thanksgiving holiday and demonstrates that simple gestures, like buying or selling a pie, can serve to boost nutritional intake for clients while it dishes up the reassuring sense that comes from sharing in a traditional, communal experience.
From October 1 through November 20, Slice of Life moves into full swing, turning the purchases of five varieties of pie into one full day of meals for every pie sold. Buyers purchase for themselves, gift a pie to someone else, and add pie to a full Thanksgiving dinner for four. After eight years of selling pies, Slice of Life has become its own Thanksgiving Day tradition.
This year, SDI was brought in to help support pie operations and other Food & Friends special events. SDI worked to increase Slice of Life sponsorship, drive pie sales through creative promotional themes, ensure communications integrity, troubleshoot campaign issues and oversee the fundraising campaign. SDI interns volunteered to hand out free apple and pumpkin pie samples in downtown Washington in a promotional contest to determine the favored flavor – the winning flavor (apple remains the perennial favorite) sells at a discount, encouraging even more purchases.
Early results indicate $280,000 raised with more sales yet to be counted. Slice of Life is one reason Food & Friends can continue to improve its unique contributions to critically ill neighbors in need of meal support, helping more than 25,000 clients since its inception in 1988.
Pie is not the only food on the menu. Next up, SDI will support Food & Friends’ 25th annual “Chef’s Best Dinner & Auction,” June 15, 2015. The region’s most talented chefs will wine and dine patrons in the organization’s signature fundraising event. Look for some tasty information to come.