On July 1, 2023, the Kaufman Center presented the Kaufman Award for Outstanding Social Performance during and after the COVID pandemic to BelaRu Catering at their headquarters and food center in Highland Park, Chicago.
Since the 2020-2022 pandemic, BelaRu has turned challenges into opportunities for sustainable social impact. Maya Rotman-Zaid, BelaRu's CEO and founder, her team, and her family gave work to hundreds of food business people furloughed during the lockups and fed thousands of families without access to healthy, freshly made, and ethnic food.
"All the hired people had moved from working to needing classes. BellaRu gave them financial and job stability while they were out of work to continue."
At the height of our funded food-giving program in 2020, the BellaRu team produced 12,000 tamales weekly. All the corn was processed by hand with the help of the volcanic stone grinder we imported from Mexico.
BellaRu has received approximately 30K-50K pounds of food weekly, which would usually be thrown away.
Food banks and most pantries will not take expired food, no matter the circumstance, so these manufacturers and distributors are left with many products they don't know what to do. BellaRu has come up with a solution…we give it away instead!
The ceremony was charming, with all the families and teams involved enjoying the food and the recognition the Kaufman Center gave them.