The story behind “FOX 50’s Swag for Food”

FOX 50'S SWAG FOR FOOD: Margaret Johnson, mother of FOX 50 Creative Services Producer Karen Johnson.

By Karen Johnson, FOX 50 Creative Services Producer














The idea for the FOX 50 Swag for Food auction was actually inspired by my mother Margaret Johnson. Last year my family was planning a birthday party to celebrate my mother’s 80th birthday.  When she found out about the party, she asked that no one give her presents.  She said, “Just feed the hungry, because so many people have lost their jobs and are going without food. I’m 80 years old, there’s nothing I need, so don’t spend money on me, when there are people who need help.”

Then she told me stories about the Great Depression and how families in her neighborhood would ask “did so and so’s kids get fed today?”  If they hadn’t, they would make sure the children had food to eat.  Out of her passion to feed people who had nothing; and her desire to donate food to the hungry instead of her receiving birthday gifts, came the Swag for Food idea.

Over the years, the FOX 50 swag closet can get pretty full, so we think of ways to give the swag items away. Maybe it was fate; but the need to give away swag and my mother’s birthday request landed on the same day. And it was also the holiday gift giving season.

I started thinking…it would be great if others ask that food be donated to the hungry instead of receiving a holiday gift…then the light bulb came on…what if people bid on the swag using cans of food (instead of money) to be donated to the Food Bank, thereby achieving two things…a cool gift for someone (or for yourself) and a much needed food donation to charity.  And that’s how FOX 50 Swag for Food Auction came about.  It also took a team of people who believed it could work. 


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