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New Non-Profit Growth Model - Wellfare CEO Cole Riley on Food Security and $12M Econ Impact

🎧 This week’s podcast episode featured Cole Riley of Wellfare, a non-profit on a mission to solve food insecurity and spread wellness for all.


Wellfare partners with DTC food brands like Four Sigmatic, Banza, and Bob’s Red Mill to provide healthier options to those in need. Over the last year, Wellfare has delivered nearly $12M worth of healthy food products to its community – for free.


This episode is a masterclass in non-profits and how to start and scale companies that truly make a difference in the world. 🌎

The Takeaways: 👇

📦 Misconceptions about non-profits:

There’s a big misconception that non-profits need to play small – that they’re only meant to serve small problems in small communities.

“I think that non-profits can be a lot grander and a lot more impactful than we believe them to be. I think that if they take the principles of scaling [used by] for-profits and the greatest startups in the past 10-20 years… non-profits can be an incredible vehicle to solve the problems that have been plaguing our society… There’s so much opportunity for non-profits going forward.”

While Wellfare started out serving the community in Bushwick, Brooklyn (a food desert and one of the largest public housing districts in New York City) they won’t stop there...


They’re currently developing operations and procedures with hopes to scale their service nationally. 🚀

🌿 Healthy gateway foods:

In Bushwick, for every one grocery store, there are 31 junk-filled corner stores where almost all the food products are excessively high in sugar, salt, and fat — major contributors to diseases that are prevalent in low-income communities across the country.

“We felt there was a need for a problem that seemed to be present forever: access to healthy food that is priced affordably.”

Wellfare is solving this issue by donating healthy “gateway foods” to those in need (think chickpea pasta, plant-based protein powder, and grass-fed jerky).

Why not just kale and Brussel sprouts? 🌱
By donating convenient foods that are also nutritious, Welfare makes it easier to eat healthy for those that might be more accustomed to packaged goods!

📦 Creating a win-win situation:

Non-profits are clearly a win for consumers. They’re able to price expensive products lower to make them more affordable (or free) for families in need.

But Wellfare is also making their partnerships a win for brands, too. 🙌

They’ve streamlined their operations to make it extremely easy for CPG companies to work with them. They also go above and beyond with their marketing efforts – taking photos for the brands, creating campaigns, posting on social media, and spreading the word about their products.

This creates a lasting relationship that benefits Wellfare, its partners, and most importantly, those in need.\

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