Chuck Studios Cooks Up Pro Bono Spot For Manna Room


Robert Goldrich
Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019


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Los Angeles County is home to nearly 2 million people living with food insecurity and 60,000 homeless, many unsure of where their next meal will come from. Combating this are organizations like the Manna Room, a local nonprofit that serves daily hot meals to the hungry and distributes unclaimed food from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods to the Los Angeles community. To bring awareness to the Manna Room’s mission, global food-specialist creative production company Chuck Studios donated its team and services to develop the organization’s first-ever ad.

“Chuck Studios recently opened up shop in Los Angeles, and one of our first goals was to find ways to connect with and support our community here,” said Elyse Sara, Chuck Studios partner and managing director US. “When we learned about the impressive Manna Room––they are quite the anomaly, with a dedicated team of volunteers never missing a single grocery store pickup––we knew that we had to raise awareness about their incredible efforts to support their neighbors in need.”

Directed and shot by Erik Dettle and conceptualized and written by creative directors Tom Morhous and Leo Vladimirsky, the :30 tells the story of bruised and imperfect produce that, despite their exterior, are still valued and capable of accomplishing great things. The same message applies to the people who come to the nonprofit’s soup kitchen; though they may be experiencing tough and challenging times, they are very much cared for and part of the family that is the Manna Room. 

“Too often we take for granted a simple smile and warm plate of food. To the families and individuals we serve, those things mean the world,” says Ben Falcioni, the Manna Room Program Director. “We’re so grateful to our partners, our team and our community who continue to make this operation possible. This film is a beautiful showcase of the food we receive from our grocery partners, and the message is one that resonates so perfectly with our purpose and reason for being.” 

The Manna Room team drives to six Trader Joe’s and one Whole Foods twice per day, collecting on average about 3,500 pounds of food each day that would otherwise go unused. A portion of that food is used to produce hot, nutrient-rich meals for the homeless and hungry. The remainder is made available for families to shop in a food pantry and distributed to a dozen food centers and churches across L.A. 

In an effort to support the Manna Room’s mission and impact on the Los Angeles community, Chuck Studios also launched a GoFundMe site for those interested in making a donation to the organization. All proceeds will go towards the partial renovation of the Manna Room kitchen and maintenance of the organization’s vehicles used to collect groceries each day. 


Client The Manna Room Production/Creative Chuck Studios, Los Angeles Erik Dettle, director/DP; Elyse Sara, exec producer; Olaf van Gerwen, global creative director; Tom Morhous, Leo Vladimirsky, creative directors; Diane Elander, food stylist. Editorial/Finishing Crew Cuts Tommy Button, editor. Music Massive Music

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