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Heinz Is Committing $1 Million To Black-Owned Food Businesses

Heinz Is Committing $1 Million To Black-Owned Food Businesses

This is the company’s third year in a row!

Heinz, the food processing company known best for their signature ketchup, has announced a $1 million commitment in grants for Black-owned food businesses, Black Enterprise reports. In 2020, Heinz entered a multi-year partnership with The LEE Initiative and Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice (SRRJ) with the goal of preserving the legacy of Black-owned food businesses through necessary funding. To date, Heinz has given $3 million to this necessary cause. 

“The HEINZ Black Kitchen Initiative aims to celebrate and preserve the legacy of Black food culture by helping to break down barriers that keep Black voices and cooking out of America’s culinary space. We’re proud to continue our partnership with The LEE Initiative and SRRJ. We’ve heard from past recipients just how impactful the grants have been in supporting their businesses across the country, and we are thrilled to provide another $1 million in grants in 2023,” said HEINZ director of Brand Communications, Megan Lang. 



Over the next year, Heinz will award 60 grants through the initiatives, giving eligible businesses the opportunity to receive up to $25,000 in funding. Research shows that over 37% of Black businesses struggle with securing capital to help support long term sustainability. The LEE Initiative, launched in 2018 by James Beard Foundation Award honoree Chef Edward Lee, was created with this goal in mind, aimed at creating more diversity and equity in the industry. Through their partnership with SRRJ, a coalition of culinary workers aimed at fundraising for Black-owned restaurants in the South, they have helped to enhance the organization’s fundraising goals and get these grants in the hands of deserving business owners. 

“Through our partnership with HEINZ and SRRJ, we’re elated to have the chance to uplift so many talented business owners across the country and to empower diverse entrepreneurs in the hospitality space. We’re especially excited to continue doing this work, given the success and growth of past grant recipients. There is undoubtedly more work to be done in making the industry more equitable, but I’m grateful we can play a part in deploying resources to those incredible Black entrepreneurs,” said LEE initiative co-founder Lindsey Ofcacek. 



In addition to the grant initiative, HEINZ has also launched the Black Kitchen Podcast series, shining a light on Black culinary change makers and innovators across the industry, Business Wire reports. The second season of the podcast is currently available for streaming. 

“The HEINZ Black Kitchen Initiative is one way that parent company Kraft Heinz leverages the power of its iconic brands to give back and live its core value – We demand diversity. At Kraft Heinz, we believe diverse backgrounds and perspectives make us stronger, more thoughtful, and more innovative. We are dedicated to making a lasting impact in the lives of our employees and in our communities around the world,” HEINZ said via statement. 

To learn more about the Black Kitchen Initiative, click here. Applications close July 31, 2023 at 12am. 

Cover photo: Heinz committing $1 million in grants to Black-owned food businesses/Photo Courtesy of HEINZ