As a food provider, Rethink will always be tied and linked to the thousands of people who enjoy our meals. But as we evolve, we know our true purpose is to serve a different group: the organizations that are serving our meals in cafes, community centers, and mobile soup kitchens across the city. The better we understand and help these Community Service Organizations (CSOs), the greater good we provide. After all, it is these organizations that have managed to foster meaningful connections with the people most underserved by our current food system: the food insecure of NYC.
Realigning our priorities this way, Rethink is going all in on our very specific part of the supply chain — creating delicious, nutritious food and transporting it to CSOs so that they can more easily serve their community members. It all comes down to the simple economic principle of specialization, where one link in the supply chain is no more important than another, and organizations reach their highest potential through collaboration. The community leaders who head these NY-based CSOs for example, bring years of experience to the table and offer a young startup like Rethink valuable insight into all the considerations — be it taste preferences, packaging, etc. — that must be taken in order to make the best informed decisions possible.
In an effort to encourage more of this inter-organizational bonding, we recently began hosting community dinners. These gatherings are an opportunity to (quite literally) break bread and learn from CSO staff, who share our vision of a NYC where every resident goes to bed properly nourished. We've also deployed our staff to work on the front lines of serving meals, as a tool to better understand each other. Together, we have the collective infrastructure and expertise to create more long-lasting social impact than any one organization would be able to generate independently. So cheers to breaking bread; to broadening our horizons as individuals and organizations; and to knowing that there is strength in numbers.