Churning a quarantine hobby into Food Frenzy fuel

Every year, a small group of Weber Thompson staff meet to discuss how we were going to engage the office in Food Frenzy, the annual fundraiser in which local businesses compete to raise money for Food Lifeline. Food Lifeline is one of the leading organizations working alleviate hunger in our area, and this is Weber Thompson’s sixth year in a row participating in Food Frenzy.

Typically we hold bake sales, throw parties, or stage goofy stunts that encourage donations from the staff. However, with the current situation of the world, and the majority of staff working from home, we knew we had to get creative with our participation this year. Focusing on Food Frenzy’s Match Day was the perfect opportunity to incentivize donations in one day. It was a risky move, but we had confidence in the gameness and empathy of the Weber Thompson family.

Donations of all amounts were encouraged, and every donation was entered to win a raffle prize. Prizes included the opportunity to choose the Zoom background and costume for one of the partners at the next all-office virtual meeting (my personal favorite), a custom-made calendar, and handmade candles.

WT Partner, Jeff Reibman, dressed up as Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the All Office meeting as part of the Food Frenzy Match Day event.

But for me – it was an opportunity to take it a step further, and I knew the time had come for me to share my quarantine hobby with the office. You see, the past few months I’ve been developing my passion for homemade ice cream, and it’s developed into something of an obsession.

Monica’s Turtle Sundae ice cream

My offer was a pint of ice cream for anyone who donated $50 or more. Since I began churning this spring, I have made enough homemade ice cream that I was confident in my recipes and prowess in the kitchen, but I was nervous to put myself out there – what if everyone in our office took me up on the offer? We have more than 70 people on staff; that’s a lot of ice cream! Worse yet, what if no one did?

On Food Frenzy’s Match Day, September 29th, our Food Frenzy team watched with excitement as the donations came pouring in. I can’t say for certain that the promise of a pint of homemade ice cream was the driving factor, but I like to think it helped. 2020 has been a tough year and I have seen the generosity of the Weber Thompson staff demonstrated time and again. At the end of the day when the numbers were tallied, Weber Thompson raised over $5500 for Food Lifeline – our biggest year yet! Now, I’m working as fast as I can to make 38 pints of ice cream.

This year more than ever, families are facing issues of hunger due to changes in employment status and access to food sources as a direct result of COVID-19. Currently in Washington State, one in nine people struggle with food insecurity and when you distill the statistic to just children, it is one in seven. Visit Food Lifeline for details on how you can help those in your community dealing with hunger.

 


Monica Knapp is an Interior Designer and has worked at Weber Thompson for thirteen years. When she’s not chasing her kids, churning ice cream, or selecting luxurious materials palettes for her projects, she’s posting content on the Weber Thompson Interior Design Studio’s Instagram account @beyondthetrace.