Rewind to the spring of 2020 when the pandemic was just starting to engulf New York City and overload its hospitals. Cole Riley was just three months into the launch of his food e-commerce marketplace when he put everything on hold to rally support for healthcare workers.
Over the course of 10 weeks, Cole's Founders Give campaign became the largest private relief effort in New York City. With two warehouses and four delivery trucks, Founders Give distributed 2.2 million products donated from over 300 brands to support 100,000+ doctors, administrative staff and patients across 51 hospitals.
Come summer, the need had started to dissipate and facilities were slowly returning back to normal. Cole knew it was time to wind down operations and look to the future. To take this incredible community of mission-driven brands and point them at a much larger, more persistent problem: food insecurity.
For far too long, barriers to accessing nutritious food have crippled millions across this country, ushering in generational poverty and chronic health problems. While the crisis has only gotten worse since the pandemic, the current "solutions" offered by legacy nonprofits, government agencies and private-sector businesses aren't capable of sustainably solving the problem.
Wellfare was born to bring a new approach to ending food insecurity. Inspired by the best for-profit ventures and maximizing the potential of the nonprofit model, Wellfare will look to bring sustainable and scalable products and services that make nutritious food more accessible and unlock the potential of millions in low-income communities across the United States.
Cole Riley, Founder & CEO
Wellfare is a nonprofit organization on a mission to solve food insecurity and unlock the potential of low-income communities across the United States. We believe access to nutritious food is critical to the prosperity and wellbeing of any thriving community.
Board of Directors
Partner, Giannuzzi Lewendon LP
Founder, ForceBrands & PINATA
Co-Founder, Imperfect Foods
Head of Partnerships and Licensing, Vicente & Partners
Founder, DisPact Ventures
Founder, Interact Brands
Co-Founder, Koia and Joydays
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
For the past several years, Cole has been firmly planted in the food and beverage industry — as a brand founder, creative director and most recently as the head of Founders Give, the largest private food relief effort in New York City at the peak of the pandemic. Cole is a graduate of New York University and Brooklyn Law School.