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Company : Smart & Final
Program category : 2020


From November 13 through December 6, 2019, Smart & Final stores in California, Arizona and Nevada ran an in-store donation program to support the KFI AM640 and Caterina’s Club 9th 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 and 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.

For four 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 2020, to further aid Caterina’s Club during the impacts of COVID-19, the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation also provided 18 pallets of to-go containers and 3 ½ pallets of sauce to Caterina’s Club to help feed thousands of vulnerable families in the community.

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 Health & Wellness, Education, Hunger Relief, Team Sports & Youth Development, and Disaster Relief.


All 250+ Smart & Final stores participated in the 2019 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. Customers were also welcome to donate cash in increments of $1 if preferred.

In addition to the three-week in-store program, Smart & Final and the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation donated pallets of forks and napkins to the collection event on December 6th, hosted and broadcasted by KFI AM640 at Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif. Around 100 Smart & Final associates attended to collect, organize, palletize and load 109,000 lbs. of pasta and sauce that was collected onsite 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 2018. 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 $87,000, including 5,500 $10 donations, $25,000 from dollar 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 109,000 lbs.

All this contributed to the total amount raised for PastaThon, which was $435,499. For the 2019 PastaThon event, Smart & Final rallied across multiple areas of our business to support PastaThon in its efforts of feeding children in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. As the grocery partner for PastaThon, Smart & Final was able to leverage its 250+ stores across three states to collect both monetary and food donations. With our reach, we raised awareness through in-store signage, associate education, in store announcements from KFI AM640 radio personalities, and social media. 

Aside from in-store support, our distribution centers donated two days of their time and resources to transfer pallets of food and supplies for the organization’s annual event. Using our trucks and associates’ time, we were able to provide labor support at no cost to aid in the delivery process. Lastly, with our dedicated associates and culture of community and giving back, we easily rallied associate volunteers to collect, organize, palletize, load and deliver via truck all the food donations to Caterina’s Club. In 2019, we opened volunteer support for the event to associates across all our locations in three states, which equaled over 150 of volunteer hours.  


“Smart & Final and the Smart & Final Charitable Foundation are thrilled to support such an impactful cause and to participate in PastaThon every year. We’ve seen associates and customers across three states eagerly participate and make a difference to over 20,000 families through Caterina’s Club. We are proud to be part of this incredible initiative and look forward to continuing our partnership of this program.” -Dave Hirz, Smart & Final President & CEO

Support Statement:

“The kindness and generosity of the entire Smart & Final family (including customers) have no limit. Their support goes immensely beyond PastaThon, helping us feed thousands of kiddos and now their families. On behalf of all the kids and families we serve, THANK YOU! -Iris Castillo, Program Director, Caterina’s Club


“Several years into running the KFI PastaThon, we were struggling with a way to increase our impact for Caterina's Club.  Then Smart & Final approached us about partnering for the event, and we couldn't be more grateful.   The passion that The Smart & Final Charitable Foundation, Smart & Final's employees and customers have shown for this event has helped us successfully increase the funds and pasta and sauce raised by 30% year after year. This partnership has helped us not only feed thousands of children each week, but now, because of the pandemic, their families as well. And, not only does Smart & Final's partnership help do that, but they are also helping to break the cycle of poverty with their continued support and dedication.  We cannot be more proud to be partners with the Smart & Final family for this yearly event.” -Michelle Kube, Executive Producer, KFI-AM 640