On May 5, #GivingTuesdayNow, the Fred Beans Automotive Group launched a 500,000 Meals Challenge. The company will donate $25,000 a month through the end of the year, divided across area organizations that fight hunger.
Drawing from his Quaker roots, Fred Beans has instilled in his family business the philosophy of “doing well by doing good.” At 81, he finds new inspiration in those words to continue his commitment to “doing good” despite the uncertain timeline for “business as usual” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We certainly are navigating our own obstacles, as is just about every business, but we can’t wait to get fully back to normal before getting in this fight against hunger,” said Beans. “The need is way too great to wait. I know from my more than 45 years in business that nothing bad ever comes from doing right. I’m confident our business will be OK; we need to make sure our neighbors are OK first.”
The monthly donations from Beans will come from a portion of service and CARSTAR collision bills, online car sales and sales in showrooms upon their reopening. These monthly donations will collectively fund an estimated 400,000 meals through December for individuals in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey communities where Fred Beans operates.
The “Challenge” is to Fred Beans’ vendors, customers and employees, who have the financial ability to provide an additional 100,000 meals by the end of the year. Their donations will help Beans meet – and hopefully surpass – that 500,000-meal goal.
To join the “Challenge” and donate to help fight hunger, visit fredbeans.com and click on the 500,000 Meals Challenge. Customers can also make their own contributions at the registers of Beans dealerships, CARSTAR collision centers, CarQuest locations and AutoRent sites. Donors can choose to make a contribution to one or more of the organizations benefiting from the Fred Beans 500,000 Meals Challenge: the Bucks County Opportunity Council, Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, Flemington Area Food Pantry, Salvation Army of Boyertown and the Salvation Army of West Chester.
“The Bucks County Opportunity Council is humbled by the generosity of Fred Beans during this time of COVID-19,” said Erin Lukoss, executive director of the Bucks County Opportunity Council. “Every week, new families are seeking our help, many for the first time in their lives. Since March 16, our numbers have doubled and tripled at Fresh Connect sites and partner pantries. Our weekly food distributions are adding much-needed, nutritious food to the tables of families across Bucks County. This meal challenge by the Fred Beans company is timely, and such a great way to allow the community to support each other. We will be able to help thousands of people because of this incredible donation.”
The Fred Beans Automotive Group, headquartered in Doylestown, Pa., encompasses 20 dealerships, 18 brands, six franchised CARSTAR collision centers, two AutoExpress locations, four AutoRent locations, commercial truck sales and the largest dealer-owned parts operation in the country. The company is family-owned and operated with Fred Beans at the helm for 45 years. He works alongside his three daughters, Beth, Barbara and Jennifer, who take on various management roles. Beth Beans Gilbert works most closely with her father as vice president, and she also oversees the Fred Beans Charitable Trust, which was established in 2000 to help prioritize the company’s efforts to give back.
“The current health crisis has disrupted the workforce and the lives of so many people who are now finding themselves food insecure,” said Gilbert. “With more than 26 million Americans out of work, the organizations we are supporting are helping more and more people in this difficult time. We can make a difference to meet the growing need. If we challenge others who are in a position to join our effort, we can do even better together.”
Gilbert emphasized that all Beans customers can contribute to the 500,000 Meals Challenge by having their vehicle serviced or repaired by Beans, as a portion of the bill will go toward the fundraising effort. All car sales, online and in showrooms once they reopen, also will result in funds donated to one of the recipient organizations selected by Beans.