Elephants Delicatessen does its part to end hunger

Elephants Delicatessen does its part to end hunger

Company: Elephants Delicatessen

What They Did: For Elephants Delicatessen, the commitment to its community and environment is part of being a B Corp. In September 2018, its efforts to divert food from the waste stream to help food-insecure communities helped Elephants earn a “2018 Best For The World: Changemakers Award,” which honors B Corps with the most improvements across all areas of the B Impact Assessment.

Each of the seven deli locations works closely with one to three nearby partner organizations, and at the end of the night, donates approximately 95 percent of their fresh food items. Longtime partners include Lift Urban, Rose Haven, Operation Nightwatch, REACH Community development, and Central City Concern. Elephants’ catering and events department partners with about 30 organizations, primarily shelters. If food is left after an event that can be donated, the staff drops it off at the closest shelter.

In the 2017 fiscal year, Elephants donated approximately $118,000 in fresh, still usable food, and diverted 46 percent of all reported food waste to agencies that were able to repurpose it for people in the Tri-County Portland area. Annually, that’s tens of thousands of pounds of food given to people in need.

Why It's Important: “There is no greater feeling than being in service of those who truly need assistance,” said Nae Hakala, human resources recruiter at Elephants. “People experiencing homelessness deserve the dignity and pleasure of a warm, scratch-made meal from a local company that really cares. This is why a lot of us work here--to be part of making the world a better place through food and community.”

Elephants Delicatessen has proudly served gourmet food and warm hospitality to the Portland community for nearly 40 years. Since its founding in 1979, Elephants has embraced three core values: Excellence, Unity, and Sustainability. And its commitment to these values extends beyond its employees and customers to the larger Portland community, particularly our most vulnerable citizens.
About Supporting Our Community
Supporting Our Community is a Portland Business Alliance campaign dedicated to sharing the important work businesses and their employees do to make our community a better place. If you have a story to share, submit it here. For questions, please contact Rachael Arnold at rarnold@portlandalliance.com.