These six food gifts, from coffee to cashews, are from small companies that are making a difference in the world. Give a gift that gives back!
This was a tough year. A lot of sad things happened this year. It was hard not to feel beaten down by 2017.
When it was time to put together my annual gift guide, something didn’t feel right. I did a First Annual Favorite Things Gift Guide last year which begs for a second edition. And yet. This year just felt different.
Since I usually feature food or foodie-related gifts, I decided to scout out small food companies that are doing good in the world and making a difference. This guide features unique food gifts from companies that all give back in some way–and each gift has a great backstory that you can share with your lucky recipient. (And each of these companies sent me samples to try first, so I can vouch that they’re all good!)
Cashews From Sunshine Nut Company
Their story: The founder of Sunshine Nut Company, a 25-year veteran of the food industry, quit corporate America to move to Mozambique and build his business there. They hire mostly young men and women who were orphaned or abandoned in their youth to run their factories. And they give 90 percent of the profits back to the poor in the form of orphan care, creating “Sunshine Houses” which match orphans to widows to create family units, funding after-school programs and children’s centers, and giving medical and dental assistance.
Their product: Their cashews are roasted in sunflower oil and come in a variety of flavors including Spark of Spices, Handful of Herbs, and Sprinkling of Salt (and they are DELICIOUS!)
Fruit Leather from Peaceful Fruits
Their story: Inspired by his work in the Peace Corps in Suriname, a small country in South America, the founder of Peaceful Fruits employees local people in South America to responsibly harvest Acai and other fruits grown in the Amazon Rainforest. The fruit is then sent to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, where he employs people with developmental disabilities in a full-wage jobs program and turns the fruit into an all-natural snack.
Their product: The fruit strips are made by hand from 100 percent fruit that’s blended and dried, with no additives. Comes in flavors like Pineapple + Acai, Strawberry + Acai, Mango, and Passionfruit. My kids loved having this in their lunch boxes!
Coffee From Grounds & Hounds
Their story: After a Dalmatian won his heart (and a place in his home) at a dog adoption event, the founder of Grounds & Hounds decided to combine his passion for dog rescue and coffee in one company. Grounds & Hounds donates 20 percent of its profits to support no-kill rescue organizations around the country that provide safe havens for dogs.
Their product: The coffee made by Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. is 100 percent fair trade and organic certified and is available in a variety of brews like Morning Walk, Paper & Slippers, and Sit & Stay (and check out their gift selections).
Chocolate from Endangered Species Chocolate
Their story: Endangered Species Chocolate gives ten percent of their net profits each year to conservation partners that help wildlife thrive, such as Wildlife Conservation Network and Rainforest Trust (each partner is guaranteed a minimum annual donation of $10,000).
Their product: Their milk and dark chocolate bars and bites are made with ethically traded cacao and natural ingredients, and each wrapper tells the story of endangered species. They have a wide selection of flavors like Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Almonds, Dark Chocolate with Blackberry Sage, and holiday flavors like Dark Chocolate with Peppermint Crunch.
Snack Bars from This Bar Saves Lives
Their story: This company was started to help combat severe acute malnutrition, which claims the lives of 2.6 million kids every year (that’s one child every 12 seconds!). Each time a bar is sold, their partner organization makes a packet of nutrient-packed food aid that goes to non-profit partners who distribute it to malnourished children. So far, with their partner organizations’ help, they’re delivered more than 3.4 million packets of food aid to children in Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, the Philippines, Guatemala, and more.
Their product: Snack bars in flavors like Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter & Sea Salt and Wild Blueberry Pistachio that are gluten-free, fair trade, and kosher. Their kids’ bars, called This Kid Saves Lives, are free from nut allergens!
Food Subscription Box from Love With Food
Their story: The founder of Love With Food says a few experiences inspired her business: Witnessing poverty and hunger while traveling abroad, caring for a friend battling breast cancer by cooking for her, and watching another friend’s small food company go out of business. With a calling to help fight hunger, support small food companies, and show love through food, she started a food subscription service to help people discover new brands of healthy snacks. For each box ordered, they donate a portion of the proceeds to help fight childhood hunger in the U.S. and around the world through organizations like Feeding America and The Global Food Banking Network.
Their product: Food subscription box with all-natural, organic, or gluten-free snacks delivered each month. You can choose from a Tasting Box with 8-10 items, a Deluxe Box with 16-20 items, or a Gluten-Free Box.
For more gift ideas, check out my other Holiday Gift Guides: