If anyone’s got beef with hunger, it’s Lion’s Choice. The iconic St. Louis-based regional chain (with locations throughout Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas City) has been serving thinly-sliced top round atop freshly-buttered buns since 1967.
No stranger to giving back, the quick-service restaurant brand unveiled a system-wide partnership on Tuesday with hunger-fighting app GiftAMeal across its over 30 locations.
Beginning March 2, guests everywhere are eligible to take photos for charity on the free GiftAMeal mobile app.
For each photo taken, a meal will be provided locally through an existing network of hunger relief nonprofits. If a guest then shares their GiftAMeal photo on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, then a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th meal is provided – one for each social share!
St. Louis-based Lion’s Choice has a long history of charitable involvement in its communities, donating both money and food in response to local needs. By partnering with GiftAMeal, they hope to involve their customers in what has always been a central value of the brand.
Lion’s Choice president and CEO Michael Kupstas remarks:
“Healing hunger, providing healthy food to children in need — I’m so grateful we’re in a position to be bolstering the incredible work done by organizations like Operation Food Search. It’s a cause close to my heart and close to the heart of our business, and we’re very excited to be partnering with GiftAMeal to make a difference locally in a way that gets the whole community involved. And I love the message of the program: we all have the power to help those around us! I expect our customers to take some terrific photos, knowing that each one will help put food on the table for a local family.”
For Kupstas, it’s not enough that only the kids eating at the restaurants he leads should spend their days full, happy, and well-nourished: That’s why he’s been involved with the cause for years, volunteering and serving on nonprofit boards as an individual long before he took the helm of Lion’s Choice back in 2017. And in a bi-state region where 1 in 4 children throughout 2020 were affected by food insecurity, hunger relief organizations are more important now — and doing more good — than ever before.
Kristen Wild, Executive Director of Operation Food Search, oversees one such organization. Operation Food Search, a food bank and designated recipient of GiftAMeal program funds, provides nearly 50 tons of food daily to the Greater St. Louis metro area through hundreds of local agency partners and free food distribution sites.
Wild laid out the impact of the new program: “as a hunger-relief organization, we rely on partnerships like this to expand our reach and impact the lives of even more families. Lion’s Choice is a dedicated supporter of our work and our mission to heal hunger. We’re grateful they are teaming up with GiftAMeal, whose program of social photo sharing provides valuable funding and tremendous visibility and enthusiasm from the community. We’re proud to call both organizations partners and look forward to the results of this year-round campaign.”
Similarly filled with pride was GiftAMeal CEO and founder Andrew Glantz. “We’re beyond excited to be partnering with such an iconic brand!” gushed the founder, “Everyone knows that Lion’s Choice is the homegrown hero brand of quick-service restaurants. They’ve earned an incredible reputation over 53 years in the region and I’m so glad that we’re in a position to support them in lifting up their communities.”
For GiftAMeal, this partnership means a new expansion to Kansas City as well with 5 Lion’s Choice locations in the Kansas City metro area. Donations from photos taken on GiftAMeal at those locations will be made to Harvesters - The Community Food Network, which serves a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas.