The Salvation Army
One cold winter day in 1938, Jack Kriendler, co-founder of ‘21’, stepped outside the restaurant and spotted a lone cornet player at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street. Jack invited him in to warm up over a bowl of soup. To express his gratitude, the player brought in other Salvation Army Band members who then offered to play a few Christmas carols for diners. A top hat from the check room was passed around—and a tradition was born.
Today, ‘21’ continues to partner with this tremendous organization. The Salvation Army is an international charitable organization which works to assist the poor, destitute and hungry. It is present in 127 countries, running charity shops, operating shelters for the homeless, and providing personal hygiene products, and disaster relief and humanitarian aid to developing countries.
Generations of '21' guests gather each December to celebrate the holiday season and give back. The "passing of the hat" tradition that began in 1938 collects an average of $55,000 each year in donations from guests at '21'.
- Time Out for Hunger, an annual dining event whereby 10% of all à la carte proceeds are donated to Food Bank for New York City.
- A night of dining support for Taste of the Nation No Kid Hungry, an initiative to eliminate childhood hunger for the 1 in 5 US children who do not get adequate food.
- Participation in the citywide Dine Out for Autism program donating a portion of the proceeds from specific dishes, such as the '21' Express throughout the month of April.
- '21' associates participate in an annual summer food drive to support City Harvest and other local food banks.
'21' undertakes the following:
- Does not use styrofoam.
- Will shortly complete replacement of all incandescent light bulbs.
- Sustainably sources ingredients including poultry, caviar, veal, beef, vegetables, brown sugar, vanilla beans and chocolate.
- Recycles cardboard boxes, cooking oil, glass and paper.
- Utilises a water filtration system rather than plastic/glass bottles.