A newly created corporate foundation has pledged, as its first act, to dole out $1 million in cash prizes to individuals who are making a difference in their communities.
Daniel Lubetzky, an entrepreneur and the founder of Kind Snacks, announced Thursday the creation of the Kind Foundation.
Founded in 2004, Kind’s colorfully wrapped granola products have become ubiquitous on grocery shelves and in airport retail shops. The new foundation’s mission will include promoting health and empathy in communities. Company officials declined to disclose how much money will go into the foundation or to detail future grant making levels.
They did say that its first program, named Kind People, will award a total of $1 million to six individuals who "embody kindness" by working to improve their communities.
Five individuals nominated by the public will win $100,000, and one person will win $500,000. Program judges will evaluate nominees’ plans for using the prize money as part of their assessment. The judging panel will be announced next month, and nominations will be accepted through March 31.
This is not Kind’s first foray into corporate giving: Each month, the company gives $10,000 to the publicly nominated charitable effort that receives the most online votes. Recent recipients have included Cool Culture, a nonprofit that helps low-income families access arts institutions in New York City, and Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, a nonprofit that distributes food that restaurants and hotels would otherwise have thrown out to hungry communities.
Before creating Kind Snacks, Mr. Lubetzky started PeaceWorks, a specialty food company that promotes economic cooperation in the Middle East, and OneVoice, an international movement that advocates for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Mr. Lubetzky cites his father’s experiences during the Holocaust as his motivation for encouraging tolerance and kindness among people.
"I don’t see it as philanthropy so much as a duty," he said.