In 2019, the Weber Shandwick Minneapolis pro bono program wanted to partner with an organization that focused on youth education initiatives that help close the education achievement gap.

We found that partner in Appetite for Change, a North Minneapolis based, non-profit organization whose mission is using food as a tool for building health, wealth, and social change. Through a variety of educational programs, hands-on workshops, employment opportunities and food-based businesses, AFC brings the people of North Minneapolis together to engage with fresh, healthy food, increase wealth and build social connectedness.

When AFC applied for our program, we found that their limited staff time to dedicate to communications presented several related challenges the nonprofit could use our help with.

AFC embodies a plethora of programs, cool work and unique projects, but they struggled to holistically describe what they do. We helped them by putting together a two-part plan.

First, we helped internal advocates tell AFC’s story in a more cohesive and concise way. To do that, we provided input on brand hierarchy, wrote cohesive key messages and trained staff on how to use them, and created a short and simple version of the messages to help youth and program participants become mission ambassadors.

Second, we helped them share their story with the community in a way that increased understanding about and support for their organization. This included new wireframes, copy suggestions for AFC’s website, and a new infographic to better explain how AFC builds a stronger food system for North Minneapolis. We also provided fundraiser support, such as helping to identify a spokesperson and amplify their annual fundraiser event, as well as media relations assistance. Finally, we helped build toolkits and craft efforts AFC staff could carry out once our work with them was done.

To help fulfill its mission, AFC is developing an employment and training program through Breaking Bread Café & Catering for underserved youth in North Minneapolis. In February, Weber Shandwick Minneapolis hired Breaking Bread to provide a monthly staff lunch to our employees. We feasted on a delicious assortment of food: Two types of roasted chicken (signature dry rub and chimichurri-style), quinoa patties with smoked tomato sauce, roasted root veggies, black beans and rice, citrus kale salad and coconut cornbread squares.

It was a great way to celebrate Black History Month and our relationship with AFC!