Throughout October, nearly 1,800 WhiteWave Foods employees rolled up their sleeves and participated in the company’s Share What We Do Well Month, a month-long volunteer initiative created to give employees at all WhiteWave locations the opportunity to make a difference at organizations in their local communities. Many of the organizations chosen align with WhiteWave’s commitment to environmental responsibility and the promotion of food security – concepts inherent in the company’s goal to “change the way the world eats for the better.”
“Volunteering and giving back has always been an important part of our culture at WhiteWave and this is the fourth year that we have organized a company-wide volunteer initiative,” said Blaine McPeak, President of WhiteWave Foods. “Volunteering is just one part of WhiteWave’s continued commitment to putting our values in action through community service, which last year amounted to more than 13,500 volunteer hours at various non-profit organizations.”
Ninety-eight percent of WhiteWave employees from the company’s corporate offices, plants and regional sales offices participated in more than 100 volunteer activities, benefitting more than 30 different non-profits in 15 cities. Activities ranged from Colorado flood relief efforts, stocking food banks, donating winter coats to Denver-area kids in need, volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, assisting in homeless shelters, pitching in at community gardens, donating blood and working at animal shelters.
Some of this year’s specific volunteer locations and activities included:
- Boulder Mudslingers – Established soon after the 2013 flood in Colorado, Boulder Mudslingers is a community-organized flood relief organization that coordinates cleanup projects between homeowners and volunteers. Six groups of employees from WhiteWave’s corporate office in Broomfield volunteered with Boulder Mudslingers to help those affected by the floods. The groups worked to help restore a number of farms north of Boulder that had suffered great devastation to their land, barns and living structures.
- SAME Café – SAME is an acronym for "So All May Eat," and SAME Café’s mission is to serve good food for the greater good and build a healthy community. The restaurant’s philosophy is that everyone, regardless of economic status, deserves the chance to eat healthy food while being treated with dignity. Instead of a cash register, a donation box is available for people to pay what they feel their meal is worth. If patrons can’t give cash, they exchange an hour of volunteer work at SAME for one of the café’s meals which are made-from-scratch with mostly local and organic foods. The WhiteWave volunteer teams scrubbed dishes, made pizza dough, chopped organic veggies and helped serve customers.
- Food Banks – Many WhiteWave employees volunteered at their local food banks including: Community Food Share and Food Bank of the Rockies in Colorado, Free Store Food Bank in Cincinnati, Northwest Arkansas Food Bank, Maryland Food Bank, North Texas Food Bank and Second Harvest Food Banks in California and Florida. Volunteers helped sort, organize, pack and weigh more than 70,000 pounds of donated food.
- Serving Meals – Employees from WhiteWave’s plant in Mount Crawford, Va. cooked and served warm chili to hundreds of people at the Harrisonburg Salvation Army while members of WhiteWave’s Dallas plant served dinner at the Dallas LIFE Homeless Shelter.