ORLANDO, Fla. – Irish beer maker Guinness is working to make a difference and get results this St. Patrick’s Day.
The company has been around for more than 260 years and is best known for their dark stouts. This year, it’s raising a toast to heroes on the front lines, pubs, bartenders and Central Florida’s community.
The company said it recently created a mission to give back to local organizations that are fighting food scarcity. As part of its efforts, Guinness said it would be donating $600,000 to Team Rubicon, a disaster response organization, as well as seven food banks across the country.
One of the organizations selected was Orlando’s Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
“Orlando is one of our top markets nationwide, especially in March for St. Patrick’s Day, so we wanted to work with Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to support the city that has always shown love for us,” said Nikhil Shah, Guinness brand director.
Guinness said the idea to help first began when its Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore closed its public tours last year. Officials baked and donated “brewers bread” to an area food bank when food scarcity concerns began to rise. Since last spring, more than 25,000 loaves of bread have been given and the number continues to rise.
“We immediately knew we had to find a way to pitch in and help,” said Chef Corrine Liverman, bakery supervisor at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore. “We have a ton of grain, of course, and we know what to do with it. So we all turned our focus from only brewing beer to also baking bread for those in need.”
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida has helped thousands of people affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The nonprofit collects, stores and distributes donated food to more than 550 feeding partners, including six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia.
“We are so grateful to Guinness for their incredibly generous donation to feed those who are facing hunger in Central Florida. Their support locally will provide over 200,000 meals to help children, families, seniors put food on their table in the coming weeks,” a Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida spokesperson said.
To further its efforts, Guinness is encouraging people this St. Patrick’s Day to raise a pint, and share a photo of who they’re toasting to this year.
Guinness said it will donate an additional $1 (up to $100,000 collectively) to the same charity partners through March 21 for anyone 21 and older who tags the company on social media with the hashtag #AToastTo.