Feeding America Donor Profile: Sean Kelly and SnackNation

Sean Kelly
January 26, 2017

We’ve all felt it — the late-morning hunger pangs, the mid-afternoon drop in momentum. Now, thanks to SnackNation, thousands of offices across the U.S. are able to stay focused, keep energy levels up and the bottom line intact. How? By providing healthy snacks in the workplace. Taking learnings from over 10 years of experience in the healthy vending space, SnackNation hones in on America’s Millennial workforce, providing healthy alternatives that give workers a boost.

For Sean Kelly, SnackNation’s co-founder and CEO, philanthropic giving is an integral part of the company’s culture and business model. To help people struggling with hunger, every SnackNation box shipped triggers the financial equivalent of an 11-meal donation to Feeding America. What seems like a small step really adds up. In fact, the company exceeded its original giving target by helping provide more than 1 million meals over one year.

Food, nutrition and helping food-insecure neighbors — these concepts took root for Sean while growing up in northern Michigan, where at age 11 a local organization made him aware that people in his community did not have enough to eat. Fast forward and you’ll find Sean and the entire SnackNation crew volunteering at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank — a member of Feeding America — sorting food, packing boxes and making a difference for people in need.

“Sometimes it's tough to get people out of the office,” says Sean. “Tough to get people out of that zone. But the team takes that energy and passion toward achieving business goals and applies it on the food line. Sweating, yelling out meal targets. We put 2,400 food kits together on a recent visit, which equaled over 10,000 meals. Our work feels so much more real after a volunteer experience like that.”

Volunteering and raising funds are both important actions when addressing hunger in the United States. But for Sean, these are only part of the equation. “Getting the word out is a big step in solving hunger,” he said. “SnackNation used to donate funds to organizations oversees. But when we realized there was a need right here in the United States, we reached out to Feeding America.” Referring to the local need Sean adds, “Most people have no idea that 1 in 7 people in Los Angeles County are food insecure or hungry. When I tell people these statistics, they are flabbergasted.”

For Sean, expanding SnackNation’s relationship from the local food bank to the national level was easy. “From the moment I first reached out to Feeding America, the staff have been just wonderful to work with.” And, in speaking to the ongoing connection with Feeding America Sean added, “The missions of SnackNation and Feeding America are a great fit, with both working to address nutritional needs by increasing the accessibility of healthy foods. We want to be a good partner and help decrease the level of food insecurity and hunger.”

SnackNation’s enthusiasm and support for hunger relief is inspiring. By donating, volunteering and spreading the word, they will continue to impact the lives of people in need in their community and across the country.