Phil and Sheila Harris Honored at International Franchise Awards Dinner for Work to Eradicate Hunger Worldwide
Dream Dinners is pleased to announce that Dream Dinners Poway franchisee owners Phil and Sheila Harris, founders of the Friends & Family Community Connection were honored at this year’s International Franchise Association’s Franchising Gives Back awards dinner in September.
“Phil and Sheila personify the Dream Dinners mission of growing great kids,” said Tina Kuna, Dream Dinners co-founder and CFO. “Their service efforts are helping to develop generations of leaders that live daily to love their neighbors as themselves by providing millions of meals to children in need. Their work to address issues like food insecurity, education, safe water and medical care have made a tremendous positive impact both at home and abroad.”
Prior to the ceremony, Kuna, the Harrises and FFCC traveled to Houston to offer their expertise, resources and additional manpower after Hurricane Harvey. They participated in two meal packaging events, one organized by the Pearland Dream Dinners and one by Sysco Corporate. Over the course of several days, they, together with about 450 volunteers, were able to pack more than 100,000 meals to aid in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. With the help of military veterans, who had traveled from across the country, they filled a trailer with water filtration supplies and distributed them with in the hardest hit communities where FEMA and the Red Cross had not been able to reach.
In 1996, prior to owning a Dream Dinner’s franchise, the Harrises began serving families in need in a government apartment complex in their San Diego County community. Those efforts eventually evolved into Friends & Family Community Connection with a focus on feeding those in need.
The Harrises have owned a Dream Dinners franchise for 10 years. The couple effectively use their work with Dream Dinners and its foundation, Living the Dream, to expand their vision and service efforts, as well as engage thousands of additional volunteers by organizing Fight Against Hunger events through Dream Dinners franchises across the country.
Since 2007, FFCC has distributed more than 15 million meals, benefiting local communities and communities in countries such as Haiti, Uganda and Kenya. In 2016 alone, Dream Dinners and FFCC packed more than 440,000 meals and raised more than $100,000.
“It’s truly uplifting to learn about all of the ongoing efforts that many franchise owners, franchisors, and suppliers lead throughout the year,” said Mike Isakson, CFE, Foundation Chairman. “Franchising Gives Back allows our foundation the opportunity to recognize and honor the significant charitable work that impacts communities across the country and we are thrilled to continue this annual celebration.”
The Franchise Education and Research Foundation recognized several winners at the dinner in Washington, D.C. Established by a generous donation from Roark Capital Group, Franchising Gives Back salutes the best, most innovative community leaders and charitable programs nationwide. The Poway Dream Dinners earned a silver award in the Spirit of Franchising category. The gold award was presented to McDonald’s Archways to Opportunity educational program.
Founded in 1983, the International Franchise Association Franchise Education & Research Foundation mission is to advance franchising and the free enterprise system by increasing the knowledge and professional standards of all members of the franchising community, educating the next generation of franchise practitioners, increasing recognition of franchising’s key role in the free enterprise system and providing comprehensive information and research about important developments and trends in franchising.