MEDIA CONTACT:  Anna Briggs Pirila, Bigger Table, (c) 207.602.9545, anna@chicagolandfood.org


Local Food and Beverage Leaders Collaborate to Build a Bigger Table and Healthier Community

CHICAGO, IL. – Thirteen companies throughout Chicagoland worked with new nonprofit Bigger Table to address food insecurity, with the creation of a low-sugar, high-protein cocoa mix. In its first year, Bigger Table has identified opportunities, within the food and beverage industry, for innovative philanthropic paths to donate consumer-ready product where and when it is needed most.

“We have seen an unprecedented number of Chicago area residents who are facing food insecurity, in part from the difficulties brought on by the pandemic,” said Alan Reed, Director of Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network (CFBN) and Bigger Table. “Throughout this project, we aim to address food insecurity, serve our community, and provide needed warmth during this cold winter. Our partner companies have once again assembled to create a delicious, healthy, high quality cocoa, made specifically to donate to local food banks and pantries.”

As a nonprofit organization, Bigger Table brings together industry leaders to respond to the needs of communities struggling with food insecurity, with the creation of unique, nutritional products. The hot cocoa mix is made of ingredients donated by local food and beverage companies. The tasty, nutrient-rich, no added sugar, 7g of protein and 2g of fiber per serving cocoa satisfies both taste and nutritional needs. Distribution of the 300,000 servings will go to Beyond Hunger, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Parents for Peace and Justice, and The New 26th Ward.

All hot cocoa ingredients, time, and labor were in-kind contributions by participating organizations: ADM, Bader Rutter, CoreFX, ConnectFood, Coyle Print Group, Dairy Farmers of America, Edlong, FONA International, Imbibe, Lithotype Co., Olam Cocoa, Sweetener Supply, and Proven Partners Group which is responsible for product manufacturing.

“This is a groundbreaking collaboration in the food and beverage industry,” said Andy Dratt, Chairman of Bigger Table. “We’ve created a unique platform for designing and producing food products that immediately and directly address food insecurity, and we hope to dramatically expand our reach over the coming years.” On the horizon, Bigger Table is in the process of planning and creating other products including high-protein vegetable chili, macaroni and cheese, and snack bars. All products will be produced in the same collaborative effort and donated to community food banks, pantries, and partners.

ABOUT BIGGER TABLE: Bigger Table is a nonprofit (501c3) organization founded by the Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network. It aims to bring together the area’s food & beverage industry to collaborate and deliver on a series of charitable and economic growth initiatives. By working together, Bigger Table believes it can work more effectively, have a bigger impact on the community, and better engage employees and the communities it serves. For more information about Bigger Table, please visit biggertable.org.

ABOUT CHICAGOLAND FOOD AND BEVERAGE NETWORK: CFBN is a regional food & beverage membership organization representing a rich variety of industry leaders, from established professionals to budding entrepreneurs. CFBN boasts a vibrant and growing membership of companies interested in connecting and learning from others and building the industry in Chicagoland. It brings people together for networking opportunities, to brainstorm great ideas, to collaborate and create to grow business.