Griffin was still in high school in 2013 when he tried to find a food pantry to volunteer at near his home. According to FoodFinder’s website, Griffin realized that if he had trouble finding a food pantry, people who needed emergency food assistance probably would, too. That realization and subsequent research led to FoodFinder and its reason for being.
“Operating as a nonprofit, FoodFinder posts information on 50,000 food assistance sites covering all 50 states, including those in 8,000 different towns and cities nationwide,” Laura Berrios wrote for the AJC earlier this year. "Anyone can access the website, foodfinder.us, or download the iOS and Android smartphone apps.
This is the third year of the Smile with Lay’s campaign, which benefits the international charity Operation Smile.
“The Smile with Lay’s program reflects the true power of how a smile can change the world, beginning with the one-on-one interaction you may have with a stranger to the life-changing surgeries and resources Operation Smile is able to provide thanks to our committed staff, generous donors, medical volunteers and longtime partners like Lay’s,” said Kristie Magee Porcaro, chief strategy officer & partnerships Operation Smile.
Griffin was nominated by his father, Jeff Griffin, “close to a year ago, when they first announced the campaign would be running in 2020,” Jack Griffin said. “He saw it on the news and thought I would be a great fit. I didn’t think much of it, but we filled out the really quick application, and a couple of months later got the call we were moving on.
“Neither he nor I had any idea as to the size and the scope of the program.” Griffin said.
Jack Griffin, of Suwanee, is founder and CEO of FoodFinder, a resource to help families locate free food.
Credit: Courtesy of Jack Griffin
Credit: Courtesy of Jack Griffin
Griffin’s first reaction when he found out he had been selected was “gratitude and shock,” he said.
“It was an honor, pleasure and a privilege to be able to reach that achievement and to have that faith in our mission confirmed by Lay’s and all their team members. So really, we’re just happy and grateful to receive that vote of confidence.
“But also,” he continued, “everyone is just incredible. People from every walk of life tackling every social and economic issue under the sun ... it’s just a huge inspiration to me to be featured alongside so many tremendous community leaders and individuals who put entire communities and others above themselves.”
Griffin is especially apprciative of the how the Lay’s campaign will bring awareness to FoodFinder.
“This is a tremendous benefit for FoodFinder, specifically, because with a program of this nature we are not just one program serving one town or one city in the metro Atlanta area. We are a national resource, and the more people who know about us — from whereever — the more people we can help,” he said.
The Lay’s campaign went live Monday, and Griffin said Foodfinder has already gotten a lot of traction.
“We’re looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year holds.”
If you know someone in need of free food, you can check FoodFinder here.
If you’d like to help the nonprofit, you can give through its donation portal here.