Snacks for the Body, Food for the Soul

Snack box business owner Melody Lan donates proceeds and time to a nonprofit that feeds the hungry.
"It felt like the type of community I was looking for – the type of organization that was selfless."

Food for Thought... and Action

Melody Lan worked as a journalist in New York, editing for the Wall Street Journal and New York Daily News. She often interviewed small-business owners and found them inspiring, but didn't think she'd become one.

But then her sister moved to San Francisco and started baking cakes. And selling those cakes. So Melody quit her job and followed. She opened Velvet Lantern (now called Snack Heights), a snack box delivery company. From each box she sells, she donates part of her proceeds to Curry Without Worry, an organization dedicated to feeding San Francisco's hungry.

Melody doesn't just send money, though. She also volunteers for Curry Without Worry, cooking and serving food on Tuesdays.

"People are really excited because they know the food… is really good, it's nutritious, and we always serve them with a smile on our face," she says.

She understands that small-business owners tend to be busy, but she notes that if you truly believe in what you're doing, you'll find a way to make it work. Kind of like running a business.

"Find an organization that you're truly passionate about supporting, because that actually will help you figure out how much you want to donate in terms of time, effort, and money."

– Melody Lan