Friday, October 09, 2009

One Meal at a Time: Kraft Foods Fights Hunger

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Five volunteer projects. One day. More than 100 Kraft Foods' employee volunteers. What does that add up to? Thousands of people in the Bay Area benefiting from Kraft Foods' first-ever global "Make a Delicious Difference Week."

With more than 10,000 employees in 33 countries participating around the world, this special week of service (Oct. 5-10) will benefit roughly 500,000 people in need. The effort will mobilize six times the number of volunteers than in previous efforts and build on the company's commitment to fighting hunger and promoting healthy lifestyles. In the Bay Area, Kraft Foods is partnering with Alameda Co. Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Loaves & Fishes, Shepherd's Gate Shelter and Turn On to America.

Kraft Foods Regional Vice President John LeGuluche will join about 50 volunteers today in partnership with Habitat for Humanity to help build a home for a family in need.

"We may be best known for making delicious foods like our Oreo cookies, but 'delicious' means much more than that," said LeGuluche. "The volunteer spirit of our employees combined with the expertise of these organizations is a winning recipe to help those in need. Knowing our efforts here in the Bay Area are an important ingredient in our first global week of service makes this experience even more powerful."

As unemployment has risen in the Bay Area from 6.8 percent to 11.5 percent in the past eight months, Kraft Foods' commitment to the communities is stronger than ever.

Local projects include:
• Packing boxes of food that will be distributed to those in need in the Bay Area by Turn on to America
• Working at the food pantry at the Alameda County Food Bank in Oakland
• Serving food to the homeless at the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank in Antioch
• Teaming up with Habitat for Humanity to build a home for the Bao/Lei family in Oakland
• Renovating the Shepherd's Gate Shelter for battered women in Livermore

To supplement its employees' efforts, the Kraft Foods Foundation will match U.S. employee cash contributions to nonprofits on a two-to-one basis throughout the week.

Starting Oct. 13, people can visit the Kraft Foods website to learn how to spread the volunteer spirit through a special online video. Each time this video is viewed, Kraft Foods will donate money to Feeding America to help provide five meals to those at risk of hunger -- up to 100,000 meals through the end of October.

As the second largest food company in the world, Kraft Foods is taking a stand when it comes to fighting hunger and promoting healthy lifestyles. Since 1997, the company has provided more than 1 billion servings of fresh food. Around the world, the company contributes approximately $100 million annually in food and money to community organizations. The company committed $180 million in the next three years to community involvement activities around the globe. The expansion of its global employee volunteer efforts though the first global "Make a Delicious Difference Week" is another example of Kraft Foods' stepped up efforts.

It is amazing what one company pooling their efforts can accomplish. In this instance, over half a million people will be fed. Kraft Foods has completely immersed themselves in the fight against hunger through volunteerism, in-kind donations, and matching funds. This multi-level campaign includes individuals on the local level in addition to addressing hunger issues worldwide. Kraft Foods, we are impressed.

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