Giving back

White Castle, America’s first fast-food hamburger chain and a family-owned business for 101 years, is launching a new companywide philanthropy program to give its 10,000+ team members more input on the recipients of its charitable donations


Recognizing that local nonprofits were among the hardest hit during the pandemic, White Castle will ask each of its restaurant markets to raise money for the charitable causes most important to their respective team members and communities.

White Castle introduced this new program, called ‘District Charity of Choice,’ as a pilot in 2021 as part of its 100th birthday celebration. It was so well-received by customers, team members and, of course, the nonprofits, that the company decided to continue it in 2022 and beyond.

“As a family-owned business through four generations of leadership, we are always looking for organizations and causes in our communities that can benefit the most from our support,” said Erin Shannon, White Castle Corporate Relations Manager and 4th generation family member. “So we have developed this new corporate giving program in a way that not only benefits local communities but also empowers our team members to make a difference, too.”

The 48 nonprofit recipients of White Castle’s charitable donations in 2021 included everything from food banks, homeless shelters and humane societies to after-school programs, mental illness advocacy groups, and emergency shelters for domestic violence victims. White Castle team members also donated thousands of volunteer hours to these organizations.