Who We Are
The team from left to right: Ashray, Connor, and Rebekah
How It Started
It all started when we were inspired by a case competition at the University of Chicago. The competition focused on finding solutions to pressing issues in the world. Motivated by our findings, we realized that we could make our ideas a reality and have a positive impact in the fight to end food insecurity. That was when MeaningFull Meals was born. We are fighting for a world without food insecurity by bringing communities together, one meal at a time. Come join us in the fight against hunger!
Why We Exist
Our mission is to eliminate food insecurity starting on a local level by empowering consumers to give back to their local community through everyday purchases. We provide a platform for businesses to display local pride and facilitate consumer action. By making small changes to their purchasing habits, people can help communities band together to strengthen those around them. This creates a ripple effect of positive intent which will help alleviate food insecurity for members of the community.
We are accomplishing this goal by utilizing our network of restaurants and nonprofit organizations to foster a united community of people fighting to end food insecurity. MeaningFull Meals is a part of the Clinton Global Initiative and its founders are all students at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. The company will be taken through the University of Chicago Social New Venture Challenge. All three of these partners have a proven track record of responsibility and transparency. All three have a global reach that can help MeaningFull Meals inspire people to make a small change that leads to a big impact in their community.
Ashray Reddy - Founder/CMO
Ashray Reddy is a Marketing Major at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with an analytical background in engineering from Boston University. Ashray has geared his life towards making a positive impact wherever he goes. Before MeaningFull Meals, Ashray was a summer associate in marketing and strategy with Nestle USA, a digital marketing specialist with Kishr Tea, and an engineering account manager with Rockwell Automation. Alongside these roles, Ashray has pursued his own entrepreneurial ventures in food, currently as the host of Food Flipped, a YouTube channel dedicated to bringing people together with quick, instructional cooking videos. In his free time, you will find him whipping up something delicious, checking out a new restaurant, or traveling the world.
Connor Blankenship - Founder/CFO
Connor Blankenship has previously partnered with Ashray on several socially-minded projects at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business before teaming up with Rebekah to form MeaningFull Meals. He has served several finance roles within the energy sector, including a rotational program with GE Capital Energy Financial Services and a renewables development and corporate planning program at Exelon. In his spare time, Connor enjoys all of Chicago's culinary and music offerings and attempts to find time to do some leisurely reading.
Rebekah Krikke - Founder/COO
Rebekah Krikke is also a student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where she met Ashray and Connor. She has a background in operations and finance and has focused her career on making organizations more effective in order to maximize social good. Her work experience ranges from working at a community development organization in South Africa, to redesigning the Accounts Payable process at the University of Chicago. Outside of work, she loves traveling, Divvying down the lake shore, eating at new restaurants, and lying in hammocks.
Michelle Brito - Digital Engagement Manager
Michelle Brito is a third year student at the University of Chicago, studying Public Policy and History. She has a background in non-profit work, working for the Student Leadership Network as an Urban Education Intern and at Bank Street, College of Education as an Operations Intern. On campus she is a part of the Council on University Programming, which puts on large scale events for the University of Chicago and Hyde Park community, and she also serves on the Events Committee for the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity on-campus. In her free time she loves exploring Chicago for new places to eat and trying new recipes with her friends.