Business for a Better World: Joey's Food Fight

  • Photo courtesy of Joey MorelliJoey Morelli helps feed a table of kids in Cambodia.

    Photo courtesy of Joey MorelliJoey Morelli helps feed a table of kids in Cambodia.

  • Photo courtesy of Joey MorelliJoey Morelli helps feed kids in Cambodia.

    Photo courtesy of Joey MorelliJoey Morelli helps feed kids in Cambodia.

  • Photo courtesy of Joey MorelliJoey Morelli poses with Hope for the Silent Voices founder Eric Lyons.

    Photo courtesy of Joey MorelliJoey Morelli poses with Hope for the Silent Voices founder Eric Lyons.

 
Updated 9/22/2022 11:14 AM

Joey's Food Fight

(Joey Morelli of Max's Deli in Highland Park nonprofit)

 

191 Skokie Valley Road

(847) 997-0407

JoeysFoodFight.com

Industry: nonprofit

Annual revenue: first year and have raised $40,000 so far

Number of employees: 3

Q: Describe your company.

A: Joey's Food Fight is a 501(c) 3 created to fund my travel chef residencies at orphanages across the globe. I just came off a trip to Cambodia, where I was on-site with resident youth to grow, shop for, cook healthful meals and build working kitchens for all those who reside there.

The kickoff impact trip to Cambodia was my first of many. I was made to cook, and the ability to share my skills with disadvantaged youth has certainly changed my life. I can't wait to do it again.

Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

A: No, I just plan to bring on a board of directors.

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Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?

A: Raising money and spreading love.

Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?

A: I hate to say this is a "trend" but for me and what motivates me is poverty. Cambodia was my first mission and the poverty is beyond words. Hope House Orphanage where I was sits in the Garbage District.

Q: What does your company do to reduce the effects of climate change?

A: Feed poverty-stricken communities where resources are low so these amazing & loving kids can grow up & change the world. Giving them the opportunity to achieve things they otherwise would not have been able to is life changing.

Q: Is your company minority-owned? Woman-owned? If so, what are the challenges of being a minority- or woman-owned company?

A: I'm a Jew and the kids are mostly sex-trafficked girls. (Another terrible thing I hate to have to even write.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Q: What does your company do regarding DE&I (diversity, equity & inclusion)?

A: We feed kids and offer hope for a future diversifying the world as they become business people. We give hope and embody the mission of Hope House to give a "voice for the vulnerable."

Q: Does your company donate time or money to any philanthropic causes? If so, what causes?

A: All money goes directly to JoeysFoodFight.com. I hope to travel to 10 countries over 10 years to do what I did in Cambodia in July and all money raised will fund this. One country down, nine to go.

Note: My first mission was in July at Hope House, a subsidiary of Hope for the Silent Voices, a not-for-profit organization that serves as "voice for the vulnerable" providing resources and support to disadvantaged youth globally. Hope House serves as a boarding home for youth in Cambodia, and I worked on-site with resident youth to grow, shop for, cook healthful meals and build working kitchens for all those who reside there.

Q: Does your company do anything else to make your community better?

A: We only exist to make communities all over the world better but I'm always in support of the greater Highland Park community. I do this through my business Max's Deli. Joey's Food Fight is separate from that.

Q: Tell us about Max's Deli.

A: I've worked at Maxs going on 12 years and have watched the indentured servant attitude customers take toward the restaurant employee (but I've worked in the service industry for over two decades). It is one of the truest forms of thankless work around.

I've fallen in love with my staff & their kids over the years -- they lead me to selfless service for the silent voices all over the world.

Cooking & building kitchen infrastructure is my superpower -- so why not fight to provide food all over the world? By giving back, I've found my happy.

Joeys Food Fight is something I created through my experiences feeding people and connecting with them. I want people to contact me if they need my nonprofit service anywhere in the world. My staff has chosen an orphanage in Mexico City for my next food fight mission -- 2023 and that is where I will go next.

Q: What do you do to make your business a good place to work for your employees?

A: Give love, maintain an open and honest workplace and encourage people to be happy.

Q: Do you have a business mantra?

A: Ten missions to 10 orphanages all over the world in the next 10 years.

Q: What is one interesting fact about your company that most people may not know?

A: The direct results of your donations will be mind blowing. Visit to watch some videos www.joeysfoodfight.com and www.hopeforthesilentvoices.org learn more about the orphanage I cooked at.

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