Catersource is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

A New Way to Give Back: The You Can Have Mine Initiative

The wedding industry took a beating in 2020 during the pandemic. From coast to coast, wedding businesses were painted by the press as greedy and unwilling to understand what their clients were going through. The fact that wedding businesses were going through the same thing was never even mentioned. It bothered me that we were portrayed this way.

It also bothers me that in 2022 there are still hungry people, especially children, in America. The reports of food insecurity range anywhere from 31–49 million in America. At least 17 million of these are children who can’t fend for themselves.

This led me to wonder if there was a way to counteract some of that negativity and turn it into something positive. I wondered if there was a way to connect these two things: repairing the public perception of the wedding industry and making a difference in food insecurity in America. This is where the You Can Have Mine Initiative was born.

This initiative is simple: divert money from a wedding budget and give it to food-insecure people in the community where the wedding is taking place.

Participating caterers inform their clients that they are a participant in the You Can Have Mine Initiative and how it works. The clients (or the caterer or planner) then reach out to the vendor team with one simple question: “Are you interested in skipping your vendor meal and instead interested in donating the cost to local hungry children and food insecure adults?”

I know vendor meals can be a touchy subject in our industry right now, and this gives the wedding team the option to participate or not. If a few members of the group say yes, then great! If others say no, that’s okay too. No hard feelings. Once the client pays the final invoice, the caterer calculates the cost of the donated meals and sends it along to a predesignated local organization: food pantry, shelter, etc. Destination wedding clients could also choose to have the funds go to an organization in their home communities. The point is that funds from a wedding are going directly to help hungry people.

Look at the numbers: The most recent wedding we catered for had 14 vendors, and the meals were $100 each. If all 14 of these vendors opted in, that would be $1,400 to be donated to the You Can Have Mine Initiative. Imagine if just 15 caterers in each of the 52 states (that is 780 caterers!), each catering four weddings per Saturday, participate in the program. The potential would be $908,544,00. That is almost $910 million dollars going toward hungry people in local communities from one simple statement: “You can have mine!”

Let’s feed some hungry people!

Fausto Pifferrer

Co-Founder, Blue Elephant Events and Catering

Fausto Pifferrer is the Co-Founder of Blue Elephant Events and Catering, Saco, Maine.