Maytag, Terrence J and the Boys & Girls Club are on their way to servicing millions of children.

The “Feel Good Fridge” campaign was launched by Maytag alongside the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to place the fridges made by the leading appliance brand in underserved communities at clubs across the country. 

“Maytag believes dependability starts with ensuring that all Americans have access to their most basic needs, and having access to healthy and nourishing food is one of the most important needs of children,” said Kelly Roche, Brand Manager for Maytag in an official statement shared with AfroTech. “We’re delighted to help provide children with this access by placing our Feel Good Fridges at the Boys & Girls Clubs, proudly expanding on our nearly 20-year relationship with the organization.”

According to a report shared by the company, the pandemic has made the issue of food insecurity even worse with findings that 27.5 percent of households with children are food insecure. This means that close to 14 million children across the nation are not getting enough to eat. 

For the cause, Maytag also tapped Boys & Girls Club alum, renowned television host and actor Terrence J who told us that the initiative means a lot to him.

“There [are] so many young people and kids across this country that have food insecurity, and I didn’t even know what that meant in particular prior to this,” he told AfroTech in an exclusive interview. “What it means is that they aren’t sure where their next meal is and I know what that feels like. I know what it feels like to not know exactly when I’m about to eat again and where it’s coming from.”

What Is Food Insecurity?

“A lot of us don’t know what it means, but when you break it down and compartmentalize the words and truly think about the meaning, it’s a very alarming thing,” Terrence J continued.

He explains why it’s a shocking revelation for the country that we live in.

“It’s a very alarming thing that a country like ours, [with the resources] and the amount of food that we waste — along with the amount of misinformation about the food that we consume — that all of these things contribute to the point where 14 million kids have a lack of secure knowledge about where their next meal is going to come,” he expressed.

Thankfully Maytag’s Feel Good Fridge initiative — which will launch with ten fridges to start — will help kids like Terrence mentioned. Their goal is to be in 30 clubs by early 2022.

The Boys & Girls Club

The Boys & Girls Club has been instrumental in helping kids in the Black community thrive and survive. And, for Terrence J, things are no different, as it’s made him who he is today. 

“I learned how to swim at a Boys & Girls Club, I learned people skills, playing sports, and even drama,” he shared. “One of the volunteers taught drama at a local college. He and I would put together little skits. Now, I have an Academy Award for drama. I look back at my life and I go, ‘Wow, the first time I even did something like acting was at a Boys & Girls Club. When I reflect on my life, I realize that a lot of nuggets were planted and a lot of seeds were being watered when I was at the Boys and Girls Club growing up.”

This is why it was a no-brainer for him to join forces with both Maytag and the Boys & Girls Club to give back to local communities.

Photo Credit: MOVI Inc.

“I don’t do partnerships that are not meaningful, it’s a big part of my mission statement,” said Terrence J. “I’m at a place now in my life where I don’t need to do goofy things for money. I do things that I want to do because I’m passionate about it. So, this year as my team and I put together our mission statement of things that we want to accomplish, we found that Maytag was looking for the perfect person for their campaign and it all just came together so organically. I remember growing up and seeing a Maytag refrigerator. [And] I’ve been working with the Boys & Girls Club for over 20 years — the cause that we’re fighting is so necessary. So, it all just really aligned.”

What's Next For Terrence J?

It’s officially the fourth quarter and the former “106 & Park” host is going out with a bang.

As AfroTech previously reported, Terrence J will host the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s annual RISE concert on Oct. 9. And while he has a new film coming up as well, he says his main goal this year was to give back.

“Last year everyone was gung ho about the Black Lives Matter movement and I don’t want to be the person that when everybody’s talking about something, I’m just on it. I want to make sure that every single year after that I’m keeping that same energy so that’s why programs like this mean the world to me,” Terrence J explained. 

Click here to learn more about Maytag’s Feel Good Fridge initiative.