More than 16 million children in America live in households that are food insecure, meaning they don’t have access to enough food to live active, healthful lives. ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) through its brands, products, employees and corporate responsibility efforts, has been finding ways to nourish these children and make a difference. During the company’s second annual Week of Service, March 5-10, employees nationwide rallied around the cause, volunteering more than 3,400 hours to help end child hunger in their communities. Nearly 2,000 employees packed or served 108,504 meals and donated 69,654 pounds of food to families in need. “Doing our part to end child hunger in America has been our focus for 20 years, and I see our employee passion and commitment to this cause growing stronger each year,” said Kori Reed, vice president, Cause, and the ConAgra Foods Foundation. “It’s a cause that employees at all locations in all communities can rally around because child hunger exists in every county in the country.” Some highlights from ConAgra Foods’ Week of Service include:
- Omaha, Neb.: Nearly 400 employees, friends and family volunteered for the Kids Against Hunger Million Meal March event to pack meals for families in Omaha. The meals will be distributed to Together Inc., the Salvation Army and Heartland Hope Mission. In addition, Omaha employees volunteered more than 650 hours at Food Bank for the Heartland throughout the week. Volunteers helped sort food, pack family pantry boxes and repack food for distribution to the community.
- Colton, Calif.: Employees from ConAgra Mills joined pop and folk singer Jewel at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to pack backpacks for children in need.
- Memphis, Tenn.: Thirteen employees volunteered at the local Mid-South Food Bank, which serves the Tri-State 31-county area. The team assembled more than 700 backpacks. Team members also worked in the receiving warehouse packing canned goods into boxes and building pallets.
- Naperville, Ill.: Nearly 400 employees participated in over 20 events at several area food pantries. Projects included sorting and distributing food for the community.
- Bentonville, Ark.: Employees from ConAgra Foods’ Bentonville office worked together with the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank to fill 4,700 bags (13,947 pounds) with donated ConAgra Foods products, including brands such as Chef Boyardee®, Snack Pack® and Slim Jim®. The bags will be distributed to local school children through the Samaritan Community Center’s Snackpacks for Kids program.
- J.M. Swank: Thirty employees in North Liberty, Iowa, volunteered their time at the North Liberty Community Pantry to repack pasta to be distributed to the community.
- Humboldt, Tenn.: More than 75 percent of the plant participated in a food drive that collected 2,152 pounds of food. The food was donated to three area organizations: Helping Hand of Humboldt, Senior Citizens Center and the local backpack program.
- Saginaw, Texas: ConAgra Mills partnered with the local Walmart to collect food at the store one day during Week of Service. They collected 485 pounds of food and donated it to the Tarrant County Food Bank.
- Council Bluffs, Iowa: Employees hosted a food drive to collect food for Food Bank for the Heartland family pantry boxes. The team there collected 5,142 pounds of food for the community.
- Indianapolis, Ind.: A team of 12 employees from the plant helped pack 1,728 backpacks for the Gleaners Food Bank.
- Lakeville, Minn.: Five members of the Finance team volunteered at Second Harvest Minneapolis. The plant also kicked off a Food and FUNd drive for employees to donate bags of food to the food bank.
- Waterloo, Iowa: Thirty employee volunteers spent time at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank, Kids Cafe and Boys & Girls Club helping to build capacity within these three organizations.
- Menomonie, Wis.: A team of 22 employees from the plant spent three hours to help pack 4,104 meals for Stepping Stones. The meals will be distributed to people in need within Dunn County, Wis.
“The Week of Service is something that I and the Macon employees hold very dear to our hearts,” said Jessica Claybrook, specialist, Human Resources, ConAgra Foods. “Child hunger is such a huge issue in our communities, and it is something that we can all help fight. No child should ever have to worry about their next meal.”ConAgra Foods’ Week of Service coincided with the kickoff of the Child Hunger Ends Here cause marketing campaign, now in its third year. The campaign expands on ConAgra Foods’ long-standing commitment to ending child hunger in America and provides consumers with a simple way to help. Consumers can log on to www.childhungerendshere.com to enter the eight-digit code printed on the back of specially marked ConAgra Foods products. For every code entered through the end of August, ConAgra Foods will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal 1 to Feeding America, up to a total of 3 million meals. This year, ConAgra Foods teamed up with Jewel, Owl City and Jay Sean to help raise awareness of the Child Hunger Ends Here program. Consumers who enter a code online have the option of downloading a special song, “Here’s Hope,” recorded by one of the three artists. ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's leading food companies. With brands in 97 percent of American households, ConAgra Foods provides some of America’s long-time favorites. Consumers can find Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Hebrew National, Hunt’s Tomato Sauces and Ketchup, Marie Callender’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM, Reddi-wip, Slim Jim Meat Sticks and Beef Jerky and many other ConAgra Foods brands in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise and club stores. ConAgra Foods operates ReadySetEat.com, an interactive recipe website that provides consumers with Easy Dinner Recipes and more. ConAgra Foods also has a strong business-to-business presence, supplying frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. For more information, please visit us at http://www.conagrafoods.com. 1 *$1 donated = 8 meals (or $0.13 = 1 meal) secured by Feeding America on behalf of local food banks. Limit five codes entered per household per day. Valid in U.S. only.