From November 16 through December 7, 2018, Smart & Final stores in California, Arizona and Nevada ran an in-store donation program to support the KFI AM640 and Caterina’s Club 8th Annual PastaThon, a fundraising event to gather money, pasta and sauce for kids in need. A 501(c)3 non-profit started by Anaheim White House Owner / Chef Bruno Serato, Caterina’s Club provides warm meals, affordable housing assistance and hospitality job training for homeless youth and low-income families throughout Southern California. Currently, Caterina’s Club serves dinner to nearly 5,000 children nightly around Orange and Los Angeles counties, thanks to support from partners like Smart & Final. Throughout the year, the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life and nourishing the communities Smart & Final stores serve. The foundation aids nonprofit organizations impacting issues such as hunger relief, health and wellness, K-12 education, emergency response and disaster relief, and youth development and youth sports. For three consecutive years, Smart & Final has been the exclusive grocery partner for the KFI AM640 and Caterina’s Club’s PastaThon, and each year we’ve grown our support in terms of participating Smart & Final stores and amount donated. In 2018, 100% of Smart & Final stores participated in the fundraiser.
All 250+ Smart & Final stores participated in the 2018 PastaThon with promotional materials at registers inviting customer to donate $10, which Smart & Final turned into pasta, pasta sauce, forks, bowls and napkins for Caterina’s Club. Each $10 donation was enough to provide 14 meals to kids in need. Additionally, change canisters located at registers made it easy to support with any amount possible. In addition to the three-week in-store program, Smart & Final and the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation donated pallets of food to the collection event on December 7th, hosted and broadcasted by KFI AM640 in Garden Grove, Calif. More than 100 Smart & Final associates attended to collect, organize, palletize and load 72,658 lbs. of pasta and sauce onto a Smart & Final truck for delivery to Caterina’s Club. And the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation presented a $5,000 check donation to Caterina’s Club.
Our program objectives were to raise awareness and, in turn, donations to help Caterina’s Club PastaThon surpass the amount fundraised in 2017. We did this through a combination of 100% store participation, associate volunteers and contributions, and considerable marketing support including signage, PR and social media.
The total raised from Smart & Final’s in-store PastaThon fundraiser was $62,280, including 4,528 $10 donations, $12,000 from canister donations and a $5,000 check donation from the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation. Additionally, the total in pasta and sauce donated from Smart & Final and its customers was 72,658 lbs. All this contributed to the total amount raised for PastaThon, which was $517,304, up more than $50,000 from 2017. As the grocery partner for PastaThon, Smart & Final was able to leverage it’s 250+ stores across three states to collect both monetary and food donations. With our reach, we can raise awareness through in-store messaging and with our buying power, we can turn monetary donations into supporting the ingredients Caterina’s Club uses to feed 25,000 kids a week at 89 locations in 29 cities. Lastly, with our dedicated associates and culture of community and giving back, we can easily rally associate volunteers to collect, organize, palletize, load and deliver via truck all the food donations to Caterina’s Club.
“Smart & Final is honored to partner with such a worthy cause and to participate in PastaThon every year. When we began fundraising for Caterina’s Club in our Southern California stores, we heard from customers outside the area that they’d like to participate too, so we’ve since extended the program to all 257 Smart & Final stores in California, Arizona and Nevada, and look forward to continue to grow the program.” -David Hirz, Smart & Final President & CEO