The Nielsen-Massey Foundation, the charitable arm of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, has donated nearly $300,000 to a selection of national and Illinois COVID-19 emergency relief funds that support foodservice industry organizations, small businesses and local workers affected by the pandemic.

Founded in 2009, the Nielsen-Massey Foundation is led by third-generation owners Craig, Beth and Matt Nielsen, and their mother, Camilla Nielsen.

“Foodservice has been a cornerstone of our business for more than a century, and this financial commitment is our way of giving back to those whose livelihoods have been threatened by the pandemic,” said Matt Nielsen, treasurer, Nielsen-Massey Foundation. “We salute our many friends in the foodservice and culinary arts sector during this challenging time and hope these donations will help sustain their efforts in continuing to inspire and enrich each of our lives through the power of food.”

Among the foodservice organizations supported by the Foundation include:

  • The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund – provides financial assistance to small, independent restaurants that need funds to help offset operating expenses
  • Another Round, Another Rally – distributes grants to those in the hospitality and foodservice industry
  • One Fair Wage – provides cash assistance to tipped service workers
  • Restaurant Workers Community Foundation – provides monetary relief for restaurant workers and small business owners
  • Common Threads – service that provides chef-made meals for families in partnership with local restaurants 

In addition to organizations and relief funds dedicated to the foodservice industry, the Nielsen-Massey Foundation has made donations to several general COVID-19 relief efforts: 

  • Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund – helps food banks across the country support communities affected by the pandemic
  • United Way Lake County COVID-19 Community Response Fund – provides increased access to emergency food and basic supplies, as well as living expense assistance 
  • Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund – provides financial resources to local community foundations that support a myriad of services ranging from food security to healthcare

“As an organization that has endured for more than a century and through prior periods of global uncertainty, we remain hopeful that we will all emerge stronger than ever,” Nielsen said. “In the meantime, we are proud to play a role in supporting the organizations doing invaluable work to aid both our neighbors and foodservice establishments and workers during this period.”