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Special Project

Special Project
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

Heinz - The Black Kitchen Podcast

Finalist in Podcast Mini Series

Entered in Multicultural Community Engagement


Back in April 2021, Heinz, the LEE Initiative and Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice partnered to grant over $1M to Black-owned restaurants across the nation and food initiatives across the nation. In Fall 2021, we brought awareness to the powerful and important stories of Black-owned restaurants in America. 

Introducing the Black Kitchen Podcast, a new audio series about modern black cuisine. Hosted by soul food scholar and culinary historian Adrian Miller, the podcast dives into the stories of 6 amazing founders. Each episode features illustrations by Black femme artists Lo Harris and Shanee Benjamin, as Heinz continues to use their platform to elevate Black voices.

Strategy and Execution

As a key player in the food and beverage industry, Kraft Heinz has great power and influence, making it essential that we focus on doing good for the communities around us. As a semi-continuation from the Heinz Diner Fund, launched in 2020, the brand wanted to continue its efforts in aiding small owned businesses. Rather than simply making a donation or acknowledgment, Heinz found a way to have a meaningful role within their realm of expertise. The small businesses Heinz was able to reach with this initiative made a huge impact on their livelihood. More often than not, helping a handful of small businesses in a thoughtful way, can have a greater echo than helping every restaurant across the country.

Black cuisine, black culture and black businesses have made an indelible mark on the best parts of America, but often haven’t received the recognition or accolades they deserve. Being a major player in the food and beverage industry, Heinz is able to play a part (in collaboration with the LEE Initiative) to put a spotlight on some of the best small businesses in the country. We strived to bring awareness to the powerful and important stories of Black-owned restaurants in our country.


Our campaign was successful in bringing awareness to the powerful and important stories of Black-owned restaurants in America, as well as some relief and resources to the restaurant owners who we were able to support. These grants came at a difficult time for these restaurants, who were very appreciative not only for the funds to help them stay afloat during a pandemic, but also for the platform to share their stories. We inspired an anonymous $250,000 donation that allowed for 15 additional grants, and have also been hosting webinars on business-related topics. Over 25 restaurant owners attended our first webinar. With more than 5,000+ downloads and counting, we’re reaching more consumers every day. We also awarded over $1M dollars in grants to Black owned restaurants. See more detailed results below.


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Video for Heinz - The Black Kitchen Podcast

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Wieden+Kennedy New York, Kraft Heinz