Stoneman Douglas Graduate's Company Helps Feed Many - especially during the holidays
By Cynthia MacGregor / November 1, 2014

When it comes to helping the community - particularly during the holidays when so many struggle to feed their families, Fresh Meal Plan has a heart. Maybe it's because the CEO, Marc Elkman, is the proverbial "local boy makes good," only in this case it's also a question of "local boy does good." Elkman, a graduate of Stoneman Douglas High School, explains that Fresh Meal Plan donates food, money, office equipment, and gift certificates and cards to local worthy causes.

The company, which delivers fresh-cooked individual meals daily throughout the tri-county area, is a boon to customers ranging from harried, busy moms to seniors and the disabled who have difficulty cooking for themselves. It is also a welcome provider for folks who are culinarily challenged or simply don't enjoy cooking, yet who want fresh, wholesome meals and realize that dialing for pizza every night is not a healthy option.

FMP is the official meal plan of the Miami Dolphins, but they are not the only ones who appreciate the company. FMP recently donated seven days' worth of food to a United Way charity auction and has benefitted many other local charities as well. Over the last four years, Fresh Meal Plan has donated food, gift cards and certificates for meals, office equipment, and money to various local charity efforts.

Recipients of food and meals have included Boca Helping Hands, Faith Farm Ministries, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Broward Outreach Centers, and the ACC Foundation (Achievement Centers for Children & Families). Gift card or certificate recipients have included the Junior League of Boca Raton, and CHG Healthcare Services (for the United Way of Palm Beach County). A gift of office equipment was made to the National Headquarters of the Vietnam Vets of America. And Fresh Meal Plan donated financially to the Ranse Classic Volleyball Tournament Benefiting Kids in Distress.

CEO Elkman says, "Although Fresh Meal Plan is not a 'meals on wheels' or a non-profit, as a meal delivery company we nonetheless know the value of giving back to the tri-county community whenever we can.

"One of the more impactful donations FMP has made more recently was to Boca Helping Hands. They provide food and emergency assistance to meet basic human needs and offer long-term solutions to break the cycle of dependence for people in our community. And, by working in association with the Food Donation Connection, we were able to provide BHH with 119 pounds of food.

"Knowing that we helped that many people eat a sound, nutritious meal is hard to fathom, because in reality it's sad to think there are so many in need. Yet from a philanthropic standpoint, it's an overwhelmingly satisfying feeling and a tradition we plan on continuing. After all, food is fuel, food is love, and food is a basic staple that no one can live without."

With the holiday season upon us, food for families and individuals is more crucial than ever. No one wants to think of people eating canned beans for their Christmas meal. But in season and out, the donations from Fresh Meal Plan are certainly appreciated. Boca Helping Hands Executive Director James Gavrilos told FMP: "Your delicious and healthy meals are going to housebound shut-ins who cannot get to our soup kitchen for their meals. Think of the blessing for these families who have limited access to food...especially the healthy, nutritious food you are donating to Boca Helping Hands. Thank you for all you do."

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