All year long, I love to support independent bakers, chocolatiers, wineries and small retailers with my limited shopping dollars — but I love them even more when they’re offering food gifts that give back to people in need through worthwhile charities and organizations.
You too? I’ve rounded up a dozen food gifts that give back to help you feel even better about your own purchases this holiday season.
My kids have always heard us say, “it’s better to give than receive,’ but with these gifts, I can now add, “it’s even better to give back twice.”
Top image: Social Enterprise Alliance
Supporting Firefighters and First Responders: Fire Dept Coffee
If you’ve got coffee drinkers on your list, we have food gifts that give back that will keep your friends and family caffeinated, all while helping out important groups. Just featured in our recent post, 15 cool gifts for the guy who has everything, Fire Department Coffee offers a dozen different coffee blends and roasts for just about any taste along with monthly gift boxes.
I personally would love to try the liquor-infused coffees, like Irish-whiskey or dark-rum infused coffee. Their entire company is run by firefighters, plus 10% of the proceeds support injured or ill firefighters and first responders, A.K.A. the heroes that live among us.
($11.99 and up for coffee, $13.99/mo for coffee of the month club, Fire Dept Coffee)
(Another company worth checking out: American Heroes Coffee, which donates 20% of profits to organizations supporting the need of veterans, military families and first responders.)
Supporting Food Banks: Jcoco by Seattle Chocolate Co
We have always had a strong focus on supporting women-owned business on Cool Mom Picks (as we are a women-owned small business ourselves!), so the Seattle Chocolate Company is one we’ve been happy to share for a while.
Their sister brand Jcoco is a philanthropic company created to feed hungry families through the purchase of their premium chocolates that give back. By partnering with food banks in Washington, California, and New York, they’ve donated more than four million servings of food with their profits. One favorite: the colorful Prism Gift Box, which includes ten unique chocolate flavors.
Wow, this is one gorgeously packaged box of chocolates that would make a terrific gift.
($25 , Seattle Chocolates)
Supporting Children with Cancer: Cloister Honey
We have featured Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and we love how in addition to supporting kids with the same of their own yummy cookies on site, they empower others to throw their own bake sales to raise money. There are other food companies who partner with them, including Cloister Honey, and I think a jar or two of Cloister Salted Honey is a great gift on its own. Even more so knowing 35% of proceeds help Cookies for Kids’ Cancer do even more good work.
($9/jar, Cloister Honey)
Supporting Human Rights: Divine Chocolate
Those who are celebrating Hanukkah can ditch the cheap waxy chocolate coins and splurge on some truly gourmet chocolate gelt by Divine Chocolate. In both milk and dark chocolate coin packages, they are OU Kosher Dairy certified and wrapped in gold or silver foil. 10% of sales from these chocolates will go to T’ruah: the Rabbinic Call for Human Rights which advances human rights in North America, and the Middle East, including support for refugees and asylum seekers, fighting against human slavery and trafficking, and ending mass incarceration, as well as supporting a two-state solution to resolve the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Now that’s a food gift that gives back in a meaningful and timely way.
($3.49/bag, Divine Chocolate)
Supporting Multiple Causes Around the World: Project 7
I never give in to my kids’ begging for sweets at the checkout counters, but now that I’ve learned more about Project 7’s clean-ingredient gum and gummies that give back to important causes, I will be grabbing a few packs to drop into their stockings this year.
Inspired flavors like Cupcake Bites, Coconut Lime, and Sour Soda are all made in America, but purchases have far-reaching impact around the world.
Project 7’s non-profit partners help provide emergency shelter (they’ve provided 2.1 million hours of shelter), clean drinking water (1.7 million months of clean water), Malaria treatment (145,000 Malaria treatments). and reforestation (5 million trees planted).
Not bad work for a pack of gum.
(Prices from $5.45- $19.99 at Project 7; also available at many retailers)
Supporting Food Kitchens, Food Banks and More: Penzey’s Spices
A long-time favorite of Cool Mom Picks (here’s their “Love People” spice mix featured in 2016), the folks at Penzey’s wear their hearts on their sleeves, and aren’t afraid to speak up again injustice — and put their money where their mouths are. They donate a ton of their chef-approved spices to food pantries, soup kitchens, and others who help provide meeds and feed food-insecure people around the US. They also stepped up big time to support victims of hurricanes in Texas and Florida. So they’re top of our own gift lists each year, including the Soul Gift Set, one of our favorite gifts under $15 for adults.
(Okay, so it’s a few cents more. But totally worth it.)
Looking for a truly “wow” gift for the holidays from Penzey’s? I love this jam-packed Spice Replacement Gift Crate which comes with both a pepper mill and salt shaker. But don’t worry if you can’t quite go so big — Penzeys has all kinds of food gifts and gift boxes to spice things up.
(This box $159.95, Penzey’s many smaller boxes available for under $20)
Supporting a Cause of Your Choice: (c)3 Wines
Wine is a pretty standard hostess gift for me to bring to the various holiday parties I’ll attend, but there is nothing standard about (c)3 Wines, which donates 100% of profits to multiple charitable organizations.
Simply choose from among their 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, or a 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, then you pick one of the four charities that you’d like your purchase to support, and that’s it!
Current nonprofits supported by (c)3 Wines include SheLift, The Adventure Project, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, and Extra Table, all organizations doing really cool things in different parts of the world to empower people, take care of our furry friends, and to feed the hungry. Cheers to that!
( $30-$75, (c)3 Wines,)
Supporting Children in Need: One Hope Wine
Prefer to give bubbly for all the toasts between Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s? Long-time CMP favorite wine maker (this post is from 2009!), One Hope Wine’s Sparkling California Brut in the silver or gold shimmer wrapper will make quite an impression. Especially for the kids who will be get their next meal from their donation.
I’m impressed that One Hope has donated more than five-million dollars to organizations that are working to end childhood hunger, along with other groups that are working to find homes for unwanted pets, vaccinate children, and plant trees. It’s really something to toast.
And if you prefer, there’s a gorgeous rainbow glitter edition sparkling wine supporting LGBTQ+ youth in need, through the Trevor Project.
($39, One Hope Wines)
Supporting Unemployed Women: Women’s Bean Project
I felt my heart grow three sizes today as I discovered the Women’s Bean Project. This amazing Colorado non-profit exists to employ chronically unemployed women, through the production and sales of healthy, nourishing food gifts. Women are typically hired into the program for about seven months to help them to break the cycle of unemployment while gaining valuable skills, and building their confidence to go out and find their next job.
I love the variety of products you can buy for someone on your gift list here. From an inexpensive soup or chili, to the packed Sampler Gift Box shown above, there’s so much to love. Plus you’ll find sweets, treats, beverage mixes, meals, and even dog biscuits for your favorite furry friend. You can cross off a lot of people on your list at this one site.
($32.95 and up for gift boxes, Women’s Bean Project)
Supporting the Environment and Lifting Families Out of Poverty: Teatulia Tea
Tea drinkers can directly support those people who are growing and harvesting their tea when you’re drinking Teatulia Tea. It started as a social enterprise to provide jobs in an impoverished region of Bangladesh, and I love how the mission has grown. Every aspect of the process, from the land, to the methods for growth and harvesting and packaging, is done with the people of the community and the best needs of the environment in mind.
This Best Sellers Tea Gift Set makes a great good gift that gives back, including three different varieties of tea, a mug, and adorable “Nessie” infuser.
Supporting Hungry Children: Love With Food
If the VIP on your holiday list happens to be keeping to a gluten-free diet, I think they’d be so appreciative of the Love With Food gluten-free gift box of goodies. Filled with sweet and savory and safe food for them, it’s a thoughtful food gift that insures that everyone gets some holiday snacking in. With this one box purchase, you’ll be donating two meals to feed a hungry child.
($29.99, Love With Food)
Supporting Shelter Dogs: Grounds & Hounds
If your recipient has a soft spot for our four-legged friends, check out Grounds & Hounds which offers over 20 coffee blends, a bunch of coffee pods, and even some hot chocolate offerings. I love the clever names like Belly Rub Blend, Good Boy Dark Roast, and, of course, Rescue Roast, but this coffee isn’t for the dogs (ha). 100% fair trade and organic beans are roasted, packed, and sold, with fully 20% of sales going to rescue organizations.
Their philanthropy has provided 1.5 million shelter meals, plus thousands of toys, vaccines, microchips, and, most importantly, countless dogs redirected to no-kill organizations because of their donations. Pretty powerful stuff accomplished with a coffee bean.
($13.99+, Grounds & Hounds)
Please double check holiday shipping deadlines before ordering to insure your food gift will arrive when you need it to be there. If you’ve missed cut-off dates for Christmas 2019, bookmark the post for the next time you need a sweet or savory gift — you can give back all year long!