The National Association of Concessionaires (NAC) provided space on the trade show floor of the NAC Concession and Hospitality Expo, held at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park Hotel, for their annual Kindness Initiative. On July 30 – August 2, Expo delegates and exhibitors took time out of their busy schedules to put together 500 backpacks for in-need children in Chicago Public Schools (CPS).
The backpacks will be given to high school students in a school with a large demographic of low-income students and those who are living in temporary living situations. The backpacks will be distributed by the principal, assistant principal or school counselor.
NAC partnered with the Children First Fund to help raise over $15,000 for supplies and support, which was provided by generous donations from NAC member companies, individuals and participating sponsors. NAC was founded in Chicago in 1944 and is headquartered in the city. The choice to benefit CSP was a natural fit during the 75th anniversary of the trade association in its home town.
“Thank you to the NAC and all of its members for your hard work and dedication on the Kindness Initiative. Equity is the North Star for everything we do at CPS. We strive for every student to have access to the best education, opportunities, and resources,” said Mica Matsoff, Director of External Partnership, Children First Fund. “Unfortunately, not every student has access to the same materials outside of school. NAC’s donation provided school supplies for hundreds of students who need them the most, ensuring that each of them is confident and excited heading into the new school year.”
The NAC Kindness Initiative was first introduced in 2018 by the NAC Outreach Committee at the NAC Expo in New Orleans and is slated to become an annual part of the event. In a joint statement; committee co-chairs Theresa Boysen, ACS, of Kernel Season’s and Shelly Olesen, ACS, of C. Cretors and Company said; “Being a member of NAC is about the support that you give and receive not only within the concession industry but the outreach we can provide in a community. In an effort to pay it forward, NAC’s Outreach Committee was thrilled to work alongside CPS with the Back Pack Kindness Initiative. Let’s help give our Chicago students a great start to a new school year and future!”
About NAC: The National Association of Concessionaires, in its 75th year, is the trade association for the recreation and leisure-time food and beverage concessions industry. Members are comprised of the owners and operators of facilities such as: Movie Theatres, Stadiums & Arenas, Zoos & Aquariums, Colleges & Universities, Foodservice Contractors, Park & Recreation Departments, Amusement Parks & Family Entertainment Centers, Ice and Roller Skating Rinks, Racetracks, Bowling Centers, Outdoor facilities, Convention centers and Performing Arts Centers. Our members also are the companies that provide products and services to these facilities, including: Suppliers, Equipment Manufacturers, Popcorn Processors, Jobber Distributors, Consultants and Brokers.
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