Creating change for the better takes a village. Before setting up shop, we visit with local non-profits and learn how hunger uniquely affects their community. Even Stevens then forges lifelong partnerships with organizations who are committed to addressing hunger as a social problem.
At the end of every month, we tally our sandwich sales. For every sandwich sold (and a few other items, too), the ingredients for a nutritious sandwich are donated to a person in need via our partners.
Each non-profit partner is set up with their own personal account from our distributor. With this, they can order sandwich items, cooking aids, and even operational supplies. The items are delivered right to their doorstep whenever they need it, cutting down on time and waste.
Non-profit staff and volunteers then rally to make meals. If they are part of a food bank or pantry, they can also stock their shelves with shelf-stable ingredients.
Our donations help non-profits save time and resources, so they can redirect those efforts to programs that change lives. This is our commitment to creating a sustainable impact in our communities, turning customers into contributors one Do Gouda at a time.
Your contributions have broadened the menu for women and children at the YWCA. They get to taste foods that they never would have had a chance to try before.
First, members of our Cause team research, vet out and build relationships with awesome non-profit partners that provide food and services to our Even Stevens neighborhoods. Each location partners with four local non-profit organizations.
Second, we give our partners access to an account with our food distributor, Sysco. Through this account they can order fresh or shelf-stable sandwich ingredients as well as operational supplies at strategically negotiated wholesale prices.
Third, we open our restaurant, staff it with awesome experience creators, and sell amazing sandwiches to customers whose hunger reminds them how important access to food is!
Fourth, at the end of each month, the number of sandwiches sold by each Even Stevens location is multiplied by the average cost of ingredients for our non-profit sandwiches ($.54 per sandwich). That amount is divvied up between the restaurant’s non-profit partners based on need. Each partner then receives their budget for that month (plus any roll-over amounts from past months).
Fifth, our partners order whatever products they want off of an approved list of 150+ items whenever they need them and Sysco delivers those products right to their door! Their staff and volunteers then rally together to feed food insecure members of our community.
Sixth, we constantly review, communicate and follow up to make sure our non-profit partners are happy and that resources are being utilized in the best way possible.
We wanted to create a giving program that would 1) effectively and sustainably make a difference 2) be realistic and achievable and 3) prevent waste. We discovered that the most effective way to give is to partner with the experts in giving – badass non-profit organizations who have the tried and true best practices in making a difference. By providing our partners with in-kind food donations, they can reallocate funds they would otherwise be spending on food to put towards other programs that perpetuate their mission. To realistically pull this off and prevent waste, we chose to empower our nonprofit partners with as much decision-making power as possible. We’ve set up Sysco accounts for our partners through which they can order the products they need, when they need them. This way, they can effectively plan ahead, make space for product storage and lastly order what their clients actually want and need, reducing waste. Our program allows them to fill in the gaps from what they’re getting elsewhere, guaranteeing they have consistent and nutritious offerings that fits the diverse needs of their clients. And all we do is provide the green – which makes it realistic and achievable on our end.
Good budgeting and strong relationships. Our partnerships with food manufacturers and distributors allow our non-profit partners to purchase bulk ingredients and operational supplies at a great wholesale price. Sysco handles donation delivery for a discount. And our non-profit partners handle all the food prep through staff and volunteers. That just leaves us to handle the whole “mind-blowing sandwich shop” thing.
With all this considered, it only costs us about $0.54 for every sandwich donated! This $0.54 is a blended average of the cost of multiple types of sandwiches that we donate products for (including ham, turkey, PB&J, tuna, pork, BLT, pulled pork, pot roast, breakfast burrito, egg salad and more!) And that $0.54 goes a long way with each of our partners getting hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of product budget every month. Curious as to how far $.54 goes?
Here’s an example allocation for one store:
Sandwiches donated for the month of January: 7,500 sandwiches
Non-profit A serves 350 people per day: 45% of total = 3,375 sandwiches x $.54 = $1,822.50
Non-profit B serves 150 people per day: 30% of total = 2,250 sandwiches x $.54 = $1,215.00
Non-profit C serves 30 people per day: 10% of total = 750 sandwiches x $.54 = $405.00
Non-profit D serves 75 people per day: 15% of total = 1,125 sandwiches x $.54 = $607.50
You’re paying it forward, but your wallet isn’t taking the heat. The cost of donation is not rolled into the price you pay. But the money you put through our stores keeps business rolling and product flowing to our non-profits partners.
By distributing all donations through our non-profit partners, we ensure that they are being used in the most efficient and effective way possible. Rather than try and reinvent the wheel, we knew that our partner organizations had long-time expertise, systems and programs in place already. We trust our partners to use our products in a way that will benefit their clients in the best way possible. If you, your cousin, or Margie are food insecure, our non-profit partners are there to help you, often in more ways than one.
There’s a shload - four local partners for each store! Each of our partners is fighting hunger in their own way. Although we partner with many incredible programs targeted specifically at feeding the community’s food insecure populations, not all of our partners are food banks and soup kitchens. Our partner organizations work with a variety of clientele including: individuals facing homelessness, seniors, victims of domestic violence and rape, low-income families, recovering addicts, people living with HIV/AIDS, children and youth, Native American populations and more. Visit each store’s location page to learn more about their specific local partners.
We look for inclusive organizations that are in good standing with their local community members. We figure y’all’re a pretty good judge of character after all. In addition, they must be a certified 501(c)3 non-profit organization that incorporates feeding into their mission and programs. They must also have a sizable client base and adequate storage for bulk product donations, which helps eliminate waste and encourages safe food handling. If you’re interested in becoming a non-profit partner, feel free to fill out an application and send it to email@example.com - we’d love to hear from you!
No. Once our partners order the product they want, they can use them as they choose for their clients. Although most of the products we provide can be used to make sandwiches, we understand that not everyone wants to eat sandwiches for every meal. We also understand that non-profits often have other products on hand that they are trying to use. For example, if they have tons of noodles that need to be eaten, they could potentially order cheese and tuna fish from us and make a huge tuna casserole to feed their clients. We let them get strategic with all of the donations they have on hand and give them the opportunity to provide a varied and exciting menu to those dining with them. Other pantry-style partners may prefer to choose shelf-stable items. Our non-profits know their clients and their food needs better than anyone. The last thing we want to do is limit our partners by putting unnecessary restrictions on how they can use precious resources like food.
No. The decision-making power is in the hands of our non-profit partners. They choose what products they’d like to order and what they’d like to make with those products. Forcing products on our partners creates more work for them and ignores their personal expertise and ability to cater well to their clients.
You’re paying forward, but your wallet isn’t taking the heat. The cost of our donation sandwiches is not rolled into the price you pay. But the money you put through our stores keeps business rolling and product flowing to our non-profits partners.
When choosing the products available to our partners, variety, nutrition, and convenience are balanced with affordability. Almost every product that we offer can either be utilized as a sandwich ingredient or is necessary for safe food handling. We offer proteins, fresh produce, breads and grains, condiments, cooking aids, shelf-stable items, dairy products and operational supplies that keeps their kitchens running smoothly! We regularly assess how our products are working for our partners and incorporate their feedback as to which products are most helpful for their organization.
If you’re looking for the secret sauce, it’s partnership. In order to do good and do well, we put our time and energy into what we do best. For us, that means running successful craft casual restaurants that turn customers into contributors. For non-profits, it means working towards a cause to create positive results in the community.
By sending your contribution to an organization that knows food insecurity best, we make a stronger – and more lasting – impact in the neighborhoods we love.
Are you a 501c3 non-profit organization that could benefit from being an official partner of our non-profit program? Fill out our application and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, then we’ll reach out to you!
If you are looking for a one-time sponsorship please contact: