Muffin to laugh at

Medical Mutual SHARE Award

Baked goods are a great way to brighten anybody’s day and can make for a great treat on numerous occasions. However, the folks at Main Street Gourmet haven’t been supplying delicious treats to parties; they have been devoting time and their baked goods to brighten up those who are less fortunate.

Main Street Gourmet staff members and co-CEOs Steve L. Marks and Harvey S. Nelson regularly and selflessly donate their time to a number of worthy endeavors, consistently turning out to assist a variety of activities and events that benefit numerous organizations.

For starters, Marks has promoted health and fitness every year during the Road Runner Akron Marathon, which he founded in 2003. The event features a full marathon, a half marathon, a five-person relay and more. The annual race brings in 14,000 runners and 100,000 spectators and generates national attention. It also generates more than $100,000 for area charitable organizations.

Main Street Gourmet is a continuous donor of products for the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank, with those donations being used to feed the homeless and others less fortunate. As part of the Nothing Goes to Waste campaign, the company also holds several “No Muffin Left Behind” sales at the Food Bank throughout the year. These promotions offer baked goods to the public, with any proceeds and leftovers going to the Food Bank. Numerous employees give up several Saturday mornings throughout the year to help out at the sales. In combined dollars raised and food products donated, the Nothing Goes to Waste Program has generated more than $100,000 over the last five years.

In 1992, Main Street Gourmet and Akron General Medical Center’s Women’s Health and Cancer Center started a charitable program called “Muffins for Mammograms.” This annual weeklong effort raises money for women who cannot afford mammograms and also distributes life-saving breast health information to raise community awareness. Held every October during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, muffins, cookies and brownies are baked, packaged and distributed by Main Street Gourmet and Akron General employees to members of the business community who have ordered the products in support of the cause.

This volunteer effort has raised more than $200,000 and has allowed hundreds of women who otherwise could not have afforded mammograms to be screened for breast cancer. In 1994, the program received national recognition by the National Breast Cancer Board, and in 2005, it received the Ohio Cancer Control Model Program Award from the Ohio Department of Health.

HOW TO REACH: Main Street Gourmet, (330) 929-0000 or www.mainstreetgourmet.com