“It’s a food drive in the most literal sense,” says Angie Lee, marketing, events and volunteer coordinator for FINNEGANS Reverse Food Truck. The food donation truck can be spotted at events around the Twin Cities, and accepts both monetary and food donations that go to local food banks.

The Reverse Food Truck was started by local beer company FINNEGANS, which already donates its profits to hunger relief. Every dollar donated to the food truck buys a pound of fresh, Minnesota-grown produce that is then donated to food pantries around the area. Nonperishable donations go to The Food Group, which will distribute to places in need.

The food truck is volunteer-run and has collected $84,000 in donations. Volunteers do everything from driving the truck (there isn’t a special license required) to explaining what exactly a reverse food truck is. 

FINNEGANS has partnered with several local businesses in order to get its message across. Thrivent Financial co-branded the Reverse Food Truck and helped to get a fleet of mini-food trucks in order to handle multiple events at once. Ad agency Martin|Williams, which came up with the concept, offers pro bono advertising services to the Reverse Food Truck, which earned it the Best of Show award for the 2015 Hub Prize competition. FINNEGANS has worked with a handful of other organizations to get Reverse Food Trucks in Canada, Sacramento and Dallas.

FINNEGANS will donate to a food bank of a client’s choosing, or go to local food pantries in need if there is no preference.

The CDC defines close contact as within six feet or less, for 15 minutes or more with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. At gatherings of many kinds, contact tracing is used to trace the people that someone has come into contact with, before they learn that they have tested positive. This allows the people that the sick person came into contact with to be aware of the situation, and to make health-informed choices. 

 

In 2020, Houston First Corp. (HFC) reported that the city was slated to host 252 meetings and 611,000 room nights. By March 14, the Bayou City had already hosted 115 conventions and 137,400 room nights. Then the pandemic hit, and meetings and events across the country came to a screeching halt.

We asked Michael Heckman, acting president and CEO of Houston First Corp. (HFC) how the health crisis has influenced the organization’s business model moving forward.

 

Chances are, you won’t know you’re living through history until it’s too late. It’s already happening. A chain reaction has been set in motion and the ground has begun to slide beneath your feet.

This past year has been a whirlwind to say the least. As a global pandemic sent the world reeling, planners were left grasping for footholds as the event industry was brought to a standstill, and many of the most fundamental elements of live meetings and events were cast in a new light.