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M&M Angels

Proving love leads to a better future.

At only 6 years old, Morgan Grace was determined to help children living in shelters in New York City. Together with her mom, she founded M&M Angels in July 2020 and has been working to end child hunger ever since. Stop & Shop has supported this nonprofit organization through its Bloomin’ 4 Good Program.

Tell us about M&M Angels.

M&M Angels was founded by Morgan, my daughter, in July 2020. When she was 6 years old, Morgan’s birthday wish was to go to a local family shelter for her birthday party and to celebrate by donating snacks. From there, we started routinely donating snacks, clothing, backpacks, and toys, which is how M&M Angels began.

Our mission is to bring a sense of normalcy to children who live in challenging neighborhoods. We want them to understand that regardless of their social, economic, or housing status, every kid deserves basic essentials and an equal opportunity at things like great nutrition and financial literacy. Our goal is to provide these resources and information to help stop the cycle.

Our mission is to bring a sense of normalcy to children who live in challenging neighborhoods.

What services are you providing to the community?

For shelters around our borough, we provide snacks, clothes, and other essentials that they need. We also teach hygiene practices to help people feel clean and presentable.

Aside from covering basic needs, we started a wellness program, which helps families access information on nutrition and healthy dieting. We noticed that many families were not buying the best options when they could purchase their own food. Many families were also ordering out because they didn’t have a stove in their room, and home-cooked meals weren’t really an option. So, we are trying to show them the difference healthy snacks can make. Instead of ordering from DoorDash or Uber Eats, you could live a couple more years and save a lot of money with a few changes!

We also offer help with financial literacy. We want to show families how to build credit, save money, and optimize the resources they already have. 

What sets M&M Angels apart from other nonprofits in your community?

We are relatable. We also pride ourselves on creating a judgment-free zone. Some of the same families we serve also volunteer with us, so we are relatable from the moment we go in. My team members also know it’s not a fashion show when you’re going in. We strive to be mindful of what they see and how we present ourselves.

We also sit down and talk with our families. It’s not a touch-and-go service. We often have one-on-one time before, during, or after events. We follow up with our families, and quite a few have called us outside our events. We motivate and encourage them, providing additional resources when we can. We take our work to heart and build a family. People hear M&M is coming, and their families run downstairs waiting for us because we worked to build that rapport and relatability.

We take our work to heart and build a family.

Again, we build a judgment-free zone. What happens at our events stays at our events. We are not one of those organizations that come to take a photo and leave. Instead, we stay in contact with them through social media and phone calls.

Please tell us a story that illustrates the good work of your organization.

During the snack drive in 2020, we were originally collecting food for only one shelter. Because of the generous support of family, friends, and our community, we collected enough donations to feed three shelters and a church pantry. Our last stop was one particular shelter we had no plans to go to.

When we arrived, I walked in while my team stayed outside. A mother in tears was going back and forth with a shelter staff member. The staff member said, “There’s some stuff over there. Just grab it. There’s nothing else we can do about it. We are just security.”

I looked over and saw all that was available was a banana, an apple, and a small carton of milk. The woman said, “This is not going to be enough. I don’t have anything else. My EBT card got lost in transit, and I need help.”

I’m standing there witnessing all of this, as one of the security guards said, “Oh, I think those people are just giving out stuff. Why don’t you go out there and see?”

I said, “Excuse me. That is no way to talk to someone. I don’t care what’s happening in your world right now. The way you’re talking to her is completely uncalled for.”

I pulled her aside to introduce myself and told her about M&M Angels. This was literally a last stop, but it was so clear we were meant to be there.

Morgan gave the woman’s son a bag, and at first, he was shy about putting stuff in. But another thing that sets us apart is that there are no limits. So, we encouraged them to take all the food and toys they wanted. The little boy was so overwhelmed, and the mother started crying. She also received a $100 Amazon gift card to hold her over until her EBT card arrived.

What is your most outstanding achievement or contribution to the community?

We actually had a beautiful moment at Stop & Shop not too long ago. Around Thanksgiving in 2022, we won cash and a $5,000 Stop & Shop gift card on “TODAY with Hoda and Jenna.” We used that money on our “Mommy and Momo Show,” a talk show we initiated when we couldn’t be in person at the shelters because of the pandemic.

Every Friday from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m., our show would go live, and families could participate in activities to win a $250 gift card to go food shopping. Dads, moms, grandmas, aunties, and kids all got involved. It really helped to build family morale during such a hard time.

With the gift card from “TODAY with Hoda and Jenna,” we took this further and surprised families at Stop & Shop by paying for their groceries. It really was one of the best moments where we were able to impact so many families. We won something but still gave it back and helped 25 families in the supermarket and an additional 20 on our show.

What do you want people to know about M&M Angels?

The most important thing I want people to know is our focus on unbiased love and kindness. It doesn’t matter the person’s preference, color, or look. We don’t judge what they prefer to do. Love leads to a better future. We believe in the importance of love and how it pays off for the future generation.

I watch the kids with Morgan and can see the bond they have built. What we need in this world is just a dip of love. Love will always pay forward. We’ve seen it with the families we serve in the past four years. When we come in with love, one interaction is remembered forever. We give love in hopes that it leads to a better future.

We believe in the importance of love and how it pays off for the future generation.

How will you use the funds you’ve received from the Stop & Shop Bloomin’ 4 Good Program?

Somehow, every time that check comes around, it comes right on time. Usually, we use it to buy gift cards for giveaways at our events. Other times, we purchase snacks and bottled water. For example, with the last donation we received, we surprised a family at the shelter with a $100 gift card. It all goes directly to the families we serve.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I’m grateful for this organization that I created for the families around me. It brings me joy when I help the people around me. I’m also grateful for sponsors like Stop & Shop that help us with our mission and vision.

We always talk about hopefully having a center where families can come to get these resources, a place where they will feel comfortable. Our whole concept would replicate a supermarket and would provide plenty of options. I look at the lines of people standing outside and cringe, thinking about the embarrassment these families must feel. They deserve normalcy.

Dreaming big is how we accomplish change. Hopefully, one day, God will bless us with a center where we can change the face of what need looks like.

Interview with Barbara, COO, and Morgan Grace, Founder and CEO

Published April 22, 2024.