May 11, 2020

Edible Communities, Niman Ranch Team Up in COVID-19 Relief, Celebrate Local Heroes

Edible Communities, the award-winning network of more than 80 independently-owned, locally-focused food magazines, is collecting nominations for food heroes going above and beyond to support their communities. Edible magazine publishers from across the US and Canada will select nominations to feature in their local publications to celebrate the real-life stories and inspire hope during a dark time. For every submission made at, Niman Ranch (, the sustainable meat pioneer, will donate a serving of their Certified Humane meat to grassroots-based COVID-19 relief efforts.

“We wanted to celebrate the many people who are doing so much for their communities during a challenging time,” said Chris Oliviero, Niman Ranch General Manager. “We are seeing food heroes step up along the food chain—chefs, farmers, truckers, meat cutters, grocery store clerks—to help their neighbors in need. Our partnership with Edible Communities puts a well-deserved spotlight on these heroes, while also supporting our network of family farmers to bring more wholesome meats to those in need through our donations,” continued Oliviero.

The initiative launched featuring three Food Heroes:

  • Kirsten Eckerman is an emergency room nurse, Niman Ranch hog farmer, wife, mother and community leader. She’s also an advocate for connecting people who have limited resources to quality, local foods, especially those in rural areas. When she began to hear of her neighbors in rural Wisconsin facing food insecurity due to COVID-19 layoffs, she sprang into action.
  • Brandon Rosenberg is the third generation involved in the family business, Miami Purveyors, delivering premium meats to the Miami area’s top restaurants and boutique retail stores. As Brandon saw the human health and economic impact of COVID-19 quickly spread throughout his community, he knew his family business had a responsibility to help support their staff, customers and neighbors through this unprecedented time.
  • Chef Patrick Mulvaney is a steadfast champion of the “restaurant staff is family” ethos and didn’t hesitate to show it when the coronavirus pandemic began disrupting the industry earlier this year. Knowing that people still need to eat, and chefs still need to cook, he transformed his B & L kitchen to create the Family Meals for Four program. Mulvaney and his crew, while working with all social distancing protocols in place, are creating meals for low income seniors, students and families in need.

“We are proud to partner with an organization like Niman Ranch whose core values match ours so well — the support of family farmers, the humane treatment of animals and care for natural resources,” said Tracey Ryder, Co-Founder of Edible Communities, then added, “the most rewarding work we can possibly do as a media company is to provide readers with authentic, quality storytelling; and no one does that better than our publishers, who are so intimately connected to the members of their local food communities.”

Edible Communities is collecting nominations for food heroes who are impacting lives beyond the plate through May 31.

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