When Ric Herrera was in town on a recent business trip, he made it a point to stop in at our Open Hand Kitchen. The sales and marketing vice president has a keen interest in what’s going on at our community soup kitchen: His Owensboro-based company, Specialty Foods Group (SFG), has donated tens of thousands of dollars worth of processed meat products to St. Vincent de Paul’s Open Hand Kitchen and Food Pantry over the past year.
“We want to be a good corporate citizen because it’s just a good thing to do,” Herrera says. “One of the things we try to do is really reach out into the community. I challenge our regional managers to find local places where we can put our resources to good use.”
His managers suggested about 30 possibilities before the executive team honed in on SVDP here in the Louisville market. “St. Vincent de Paul’s Open Hand Kitchen and Food Pantry rose to the top of the list,” Herrera says. “Your mission really falls into line with what we’re trying to do. So this is a no-brainer.”
SFG has donated nearly $100,000 (retail value) of in-kind products to the Open Hand Kitchen since last June, Herrera says. “We’re very happy to help your worthwhile cause.”
On the day of his most recent visit, the OHK’s chef, Charlie Shunnarah, planned a special dish in advance, featuring an SFG product: salami. He made a pasta Bolognese sauce using chunks of the salami.
“The way the chef is actually preparing different meals with our product is a big deal to us,” Herrera says. “I’ve seen the recipes, and the fact that this is a continual effort and not just at special events and holidays is important to us. Plus, we like the fact that these donations are helping people on a daily basis.”