Partnerships are the key for the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation
Last summer, Stephen and Ayesha Curry founded the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation (ELPF) with a mission to help end childhood hunger, ensure universal access to quality education, and enable healthy, active lifestyles.
With a long-term plan to go national, the foundation has placed its initial focus on children, primarily those from low income communities in Oakland and the surrounding area. Oakland holds a special bond for the Curry’s, and they have a track record of giving back to the area. In fact, they launched their organization with a family-friendly event with Oakland Parks, Recreation, and Youth Development's Town Camps.
In March, when the pandemic outbreak hit Oakland and the shelter in place orders were put in place and schools closed, the Foundation focused its efforts on ensuring that children were able to continue to get the meals they needed every day. Quickly, the need grew exponentially and their original goal to feed children in Oakland was expanded to feeding any resident in Oakland.
The key to the Foundation’s outreach is building successful partnerships. The organization has collaborated with Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen, Oakland Unified School District, Alameda County Community Food Bank, Homies Empowerment Program and Share Our Strength, who run the No Kid Hungry campaign to serve millions of meals, among over 130 other local community partners. In partnership with these organization, ELP has helped deliver almost 15 million meals and over 170,000 boxes of fresh produce sourced by minority-owned farmers to tens of thousands to families in Oakland. Almost three million of those meals have come from over 130 local Oakland restaurants, which has also meant that these restaurants have been able to stay open and rehire over 850 of their kitchen staff, who were laid off when the shelter in pace orders were put in place back in March 2020.
In addition, ELP teamed up with food distribution company, Lineage Logistics who has been instrumental in supplying warehouse space to store and distribute the millions of meals that ELPF donates in and around Oakland.
The best partnerships between nonprofits and companies are symbiotic relationships in which both organizations benefit from the program. At ELPF, the person responsible for developing and sustaining partnerships is José Corona.
As Vice President, Programs & Partnerships, José oversees the vision and direction of ELPF’s grant-making & programmatic work and mobilizes support for this work across ELPF's base of brand and foundation partners. He has built a reputation as a visionary leader, strong manager, innovator, and relationship-builder who builds mindful and creative organizational cultures that yield high impact and results.
José has demonstrated this through the dynamic and innovative partnerships that he has built and continues to build at ELPF. In addition to the partners mentioned previously, these include: College Track, East Oakland Youth Development Center, Students Rising Above, Code Nation, DonorsChoose.org, Oakland Public Education Fund, OPRYD, Golden State Warriors, Kaiser Permanente, Under Armour, Chase, GoDaddy, Rakuten, PGA REACH, Back to the Roots, Revolution Foods, Google, USTA Kaboom!, and many, many more.
José is passionate about promoting a fundamental change in the way communities and all its residents benefit from community and economic development efforts and when the Foundation was looking for an accounting firm, they wanted to make sure they chose one whose goals aligned with their own.
According to José, “we were looking for someone that both understood the nuisances of not-for-profit accounting and who had their roots in the Oakland community. We found the perfect partner in RINA Accountant and Advisors. They believe in helping those who help others. Plus, they have been in Oakland for over 70 years and serving the not-for-profit industry has always been a primary focus of the firm.”
RINA is proud to welcome José and the Eat. Learn. Play Foundation into our client family and we look forward to helping them continue to make an impact on our community and beyond.