Nearly 3,000 employees packed or served more than one million meals for families in need during third annual Week of Service
SOURCE: ConAgra Foods Inc.
Omaha, Neb., April 24, 2013 /3BL Media/ – From April 5-19, ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE: CAG) employees from more than 40 locations participated in the company’s third annual Week of Service to help fight child hunger in the communities where they live and work. More than one in five children in this country may not know where their next meal is coming from,1 and children who experience even intermittent struggles with hunger may suffer serious, long-term consequences to their health, well-being and educational achievement.2 Throughout the Week of Service, employees volunteered nearly 7,000 hours, doubling the amount of hours volunteered during last year’s Week of Service. They packed meals, served hot lunches and sorted food at food banks to help local families in need. The economic value of the hours volunteered equates to about $150,000.3
“Doing our part to help end child hunger in America has been our focus for 20 years, and our employees’ passion and commitment to this cause grow stronger every year,” said Kori Reed, vice president, Cause and Foundation. “Child hunger exists in every county in the United States, so this is truly a cause that everyone can rally around, no matter where they live.”
A large part of ConAgra Foods’ Week of Service was the company’s support of Kids Against Hunger’s Million Meal March, an international food-aid event. Nine ConAgra Foods locations across the U.S., including Omaha, Neb., Council Bluffs, Iowa, Grand Rapids, Minn., Lakeville, Minn., Maple Grove, Minn., Menomonie, Wis., Milton, Pa., and Oakdale, Calif., combined efforts to pack one million meals that were subsequently distributed to local families in need.
“This was the first time a partnership of this scale has existed, where employees across multiple locations nationwide joined with Kids Against Hunger volunteers to pack food for their local communities,” said Nick Yaksich, co-founder of Kids Against Hunger. “We’re proud to partner with ConAgra Foods, an organization that so passionately pursues ending child hunger, to make an impact at the local level.”
Highlights from ConAgra Foods’ Week of Service include:
- Omaha, Neb.: Nearly 800 employees volunteered for the Kids Against Hunger Million Meal March event to pack meals for families in Omaha. Additionally, Omaha employees volunteered more than 600 hours at Food Bank for the Heartland throughout the week, where they sorted food and packed nearly 9,000 backpacks for distribution throughout the community.
- Bentonville, Ark.: Employees from ConAgra Foods’ Bentonville office worked with the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank to fill 5,500 bags with 14,000 pounds of food donated by ConAgra Foods. The bags will be distributed to local school children through the Samaritan Community Center’s Snackpacks for Kids program.
- Naperville, Ill.: Nearly 400 employees participated in over 20 events at several area food pantries. On April 5, more than 100 Naperville employees partnered with Kids Against Hunger volunteers to pack 40,000 meals that will be distributed to local families.
- Kennewick, Wash.: Nearly 50 employees volunteered more than 180 hours at the Second Harvest Mobile Food Bank to distribute food to 360 families.
“To be able to give back to the community in which we live, not just financially, but physically, really puts our area’s needs in perspective,” said Amber Jones, Human Resources generalist, ConAgra Foods. “The passion, commitment, and willingness to do whatever it takes to help the community make me feel so proud to be a part of ConAgra Foods. Anyone can help, and everyone is encouraged to do so. It’s absolutely amazing.”
“Milton team members have built and expanded community service projects over the years, and our Week of Service event this year took us to a new level of involvement and personal satisfaction,” said John Wolfe, Human Resources manager, ConAgra Foods. “The volunteers for our service day all told me how much they appreciated being involved and giving of their personal time to help others. Multiple people said, ‘Let’s double our output for next year.’ It’s just great to see our people come together for the fight against child hunger.”
Commitment to ending child hunger
ConAgra Foods’ Week of Service is just one component of the company’s commitment to raising awareness of and ending child hunger. For 20 years, ConAgra Foods and the ConAgra Foods Foundation have provided funds, expertise and food to fight child hunger. Since 1993, the company and its Foundation have collectively provided more than 302 million pounds of food and invested more than $37 million in capacity building, child hunger programs and groundbreaking research. The Foundation, a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity primarily funded by the company, is in the midst of a $10 million, 5-year commitment to Feeding America, the largest donation ever made to Feeding America specifically to fight child hunger.
Families can easily do their part to help end child hunger by participating in ConAgra Foods’ Child Hunger Ends Here program. Consumers nationwide can look for specially marked packages of 19 select ConAgra Foods brands, including Banquet®, Chef Boyardee®, Healthy Choice®, Hunt's®, Marie Callender's®, Manwich®, Orville Redenbacher's®, Peter Pan® and Snack Pack®, then visit www.ChildHungerEndsHere.com or Facebook.com/ChildHungerEndsHere to enter the eight-digit code found on the package. For each code entered, the equivalent of one meal4 will be donated to Feeding America. Codes can be entered through August 2013.
ABOUT CONAGRA FOODS
ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's largest packaged food companies. Its balanced portfolio includes consumer brands found in 97 percent of America’s households, the largest private brand packaged food business in North America, and a strong commercial and foodservice business. Consumers can find recognized brands such as Banquet®, Chef Boyardee®, Egg Beaters®, Healthy Choice®, Hebrew National®, Hunt's®, Marie Callender's®, Orville Redenbacher's® popcorn, PAM®, Peter Pan®, Reddi-wip®, Slim Jim® beef jerky, Snack Pack® and many other ConAgra Foods brands, plus food sold under private brand labels, in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise, club and drug stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong commercial foods presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products, as well as other vegetable, spice, bakery and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. ConAgra Foods operates ReadySetEat.com, an interactive recipe website that provides consumers with dinner ideas and more. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.
1USDA, Household Food Security in the United States in 2011, ERR-141 (Sept. 2012)
4 A monetary donation will be made to help provide one meal through Feeding America's network of food banks, up to a maximum of 3 million meals for codes entered through 8/31/13. Guaranteed minimum donation: 1 million meals ($125,000). Valid in U.S. only. $1 donated = 8 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local food banks.
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KEYWORDS: People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Community, Engagement, Positive Change, Social Gifting, Social Change, Social Actions, Volunteerism, Conagra foods, Week of Service, Kids Against Hunger, Child Hunger