Heaven Hill Offers a Helping Hand

Food Literacy Project Staff.

Food Literacy Project was the recipient of the brands’ annual employee-driven fundraiser


By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos provided by the Food Literacy Project Staff


Every year, Heaven Hill Brands host an employee-driven and collaborative fundraising project that supports local charities close to the employees’ hearts. This is why for their fifth year they donated $13,765.33 to the Food Literacy Project, an organization near and dear to Rachel Nally, the Environmental and Sustainability Manager at Heaven Hill Brands. 

Nally submitted the Food Literacy Project to be considered for the donation because of her own experience of growing up in the suburbs where she didn’t have regular exposure to seeing food grow. According to the press release, the Food Literacy Project is a nonprofit organization that helps youth transform their communities through food, farming and the land. “Food Literacy Project’s vision speaks loudly to our world today and resonated with employees across our company as we continue to address health, wealth and food disparities in both our city and our country,” said Nally. “Now, I have my own garden that feeds our family through a good part of the year. But in the early days, I felt like I was re-learning everything I thought I knew about food. As small family farms and kitchen gardens rapidly disappear from the landscape, so does the knowledge of how to grow food, cook food and care for the land, especially in urban and underserved areas.”

Food Literacy Project Staff.

The Food Literacy project was created in 2005 and since then has been helping youth find access to fresh and healthy food. “The Food Literacy Project is grateful to receive support from Heaven Hill Brands,” said Carol Gundersen, Founder and Executive Director of the Food Literacy Project. “The past year has been challenging for everyone. But for many in our community, struggle and uncertainty are persistent conditions. Social norms and unjust policies have limited access to healthcare, economic prosperity and healthy food for far too many generations. The question is, how do we begin to erode these barriers and grow a community where we all can thrive?” They have engaged over 55,000 youth, families and neighbors in hands-on learning and leadership experiences. During their program, they focus on five facets of wellbeing: inclusion, education, employment and career development, food security and health. They work on two working farms, school gardens and a mobile learning garden they call Truck Farm. 

In the past, Heaven Hill Brands’ employees have donated to Feeding America, Portland Elementary, Flaget Memorial Hospital’s Project Hope, Ronald McDonald House and Coalition for the homeless. The employees submit a nonprofit they’d like to have considered for the donation and then the company chooses the organization. It’s an employee-driven fundraiser with Heaven Hill Brands matching any funds up to $5,000. It’s amazing to see companies implementing these kinds of projects within the workplace. Supporting those in our community builds strong relationships and makes the community an even better place than before. Heaven Hill Brands is the “nation’s largest independent, family-owned and operated spirits producer and marketer,” according to the press release. Some of the brands they house are Evan Williams bourbon, Elijah Craig bourbon, Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey, Deep Eddy and Burnett’s Vodkas, Lunazul tequila and many more. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that a commitment to your community and helping your neighbors is really what makes the world go ‘round. I encourage you to learn more about the nonprofit organizations in your community and see if there’s anything you can do to help!

Food Literacy Project
9001 Limehouse Ln.
Louisville, KY 40220

Heaven Hill Brands
1064 Loretto Rd.
Bardstown, KY 40004