Learn More About MAFTO's Community Care Package Program

This Q&A has been adapted from the conversation between NJFPA Board Member Bill Cornelius of M&T Bank and chatted with Andy Morfopoulos, CEO at ignite2X, Inc and a member of the Mid-Atlantic Food Trade Organization's (MAFTO) Board of Directors at our winter OTR. (minor updates made January 3, 2023)

Bill: Tell us about your day job: 

I have been supporting CPG companies for over 3 decades. Today I am Co-CEO of Ignite2X Advertising, a 25-person firm in Allentown PA. Our clients are international, national, regional and local CPG companies of all sizes, mostly in the food industry.  To that point, our food clients are diverse,  from Dorot Herbs of Israel to Blue Diamond Growers in California to Leidy’s Meat in Souderton PA. 

Tell us a little about MAFTO?
MAFTO IS THE Mid-Atlantic Food Trade Organization.
  MAFTO is a 501C3 all volunteer-driven non-profit with a mission to drive fellowship in the retail food industry and raise money for those in need.  We have 300 members and 20 plus active BOD members that support our programs, including our Signature Gala, Golf Outing, Christmas for all Kids and the MAFTO Community Care Package fundraiser for food banks. 

For others that may be considering joining MAFTO, what motivated you to join?

  • I attended events and enjoyed meeting new and interesting people, then accepted an invitation to join the board in 2019.

  • MAFTO gave me an opportunity to see the whole picture of the business of food, including more of the sales, distribution and operations of bigger food companies in our region. It’s important to get out of a silo, and marketing can easily be an ivory tower isolated from some of the real world of the business. This is a great way to join a broader community.

  • MAFTO gave me and Ignite2X, as an advertising agency in this region, a means to live our culture and values. This is one way we give back and think beyond the day to day "have tos” and walk the walk about contributing time, money and effort to the community and those in need.

Where does MAFTO donate its funds?

  • Our Signature Gala and Golf Outing support our college scholarship programs

  • Christmas for All Kids Casino Night is a fun party that supports underprivileged Camden kids and families who need assistance and toys during the holiday season.

  • The Community Care Package supports the food insecure:

    • Philabundance, the leading food bank in our region
    • Small Things, a food bank partner of Philabundance who handles all the fulfillment for our care package program
    • Food pantries and other MAFTO charities

You are the chairperson for the Community Care Package, can you tell our audience more about that program?

  • It began as a response to the pandemic.  We couldn't have our regular events so we were compelled to think differently.
  • In 2020 the Signature Gala and other events were no longer viable, but the swag bag of food and other goodies we created for gala attendees could be repurposed.
  • We went to our friends in the food industry and received dozens of items to fill 1000s of care packages with food, beverages, free goods coupons, and more. We charge $100 for each package to donate funds to food banks. 
  • For the last two years we solicited likeminded companies in the industry to sponsor the program with a purchase/donation of 100 care packages ($10,000) to support PHLB and Small Things – the food banks that help 100s of 1000s of people each week including children, students, and elderly
  • Donating companies (from cleaning services and insurance to brokers and distributors) supported the program and received our gratitude and recognition
    • We solicited partners to create a MAFTO coordinated media program driving awareness for the issue and recognizing the companies that purchased 100s of these care packages promoting special events at food pantries, hospitals, schools and more
    • We promoted the bigger events with our social media and with PR support, including local TV on all the major networks in Philly
    • We promote the program and sponsors regularly in Food Trade News
    • Last year, OutFront gave us 7 million billboard impressions recognizing our biggest contributors

The CCP has generated nearly $150,000 in corporate donations and over 12 million impressions for this cause in 2 years!

How can NJFPA and its members here today help?

  • We are seeking donations of 2000 non-perishable products and free goods coupons now to fill this year's care package; Sample size to full sized products, that make it a fun and valuable package.
  • MORE IMPORTANTLY: Food pantries need funds to purchase fresh foods, and feed the 1 in 4 children in our urban market that are food uncertain every day. You can:
    • Buy 10-20 care packages and share them with your hard-working staff or a local charity.
    • Donate $10,000+ (as in purchase a hundred or more) and let’s do a big event together with your favorite charity/local food pantry and our support including up to a million billboard impressions recognizing your support of PHLB, Small things, and MAFTO.
    • After all, doing good is good business: 
      • We all support and trust companies that think beyond themselves and have a broader purpose
      • We’ve built in lots of free and valuable event and media recognition in this program for folks who share our vision that our community can make a difference with hunger relief
      • We are a food community that cares

How can people get more information about MAFTO and the Community Care Package?

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