Every year, the Arby’s Foundation hosts the Make a Difference Campaign, an in-restaurant fundraiser to support youth-serving organizations, both locally and nationally. Coming off the heels of one of the most successful in-restaurant fundraisers to-date — and on the cusp of crossing the barrier of $100 million in grants awarded — the philanthropic arm of Arby’s wanted to recognize a local restaurant team member who had a huge impact on their fundraising efforts.
The Foundation chose Chanelle Whitaker from Arby’s store #6060 in Jonesborough, Tennessee, to have the honor of selecting a local youth-serving organization to provide a $10,000 grant on behalf of the Arby’s Foundation and officially reach the $100 million in grants awarded milestone.
A true fundraising champion, Whitaker motivated her entire crew to raise funds as part of the Make a Difference Campaign, increasing her restaurant’s donations year-over-year by more than 500 percent.
Without hesitation, Whitaker chose to grant the funds to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee, a local food bank that has seen record demand from the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to their Executive Director, Rhonda Chafin, “This year alone, Second Harvest has provided tens of millions of pounds of food and served people who never imagined they would need assistance to feed their kids.”
Arby’s franchisee Arbico East has also been a longtime supporter of Second Harvest and matched the Foundation’s donation, bringing the total for Second Harvest to $20,000. During a celebration at the restaurant, Whitaker was able to present both checks to the Second Harvest team.
“It has been my pleasure to be a part of giving back to my community,” Whitaker said. “I am excited for future endeavors as part of the Arby’s family and thank everyone involved for making this such an exciting and pleasant opportunity for me from start to finish! I would also like to thank the generous people from the Second Harvest Food Bank for running such an amazing program, making my choice effortless!”
The Arby’s Foundation supports a variety of organizations, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, No Kid Hungry, Junior Achievement and other local youth-serving organizations nominated by Arby’s franchisees and supporters.