Corporations Get Involved
Corporations often have branches or foundations that focus on social responsibility and philanthropic activities. The issue of hunger in the U.S. has captured the attention of many of these organizations. The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) offers the following ideas as ways to engage business entities in their efforts to support the anti-hunger work occurring within their communities:
Focus corporate giving on initiatives that support feeding the hungry and improving nutrition.
- Mini-grants to school food authorities for capital investments that support the expansion of school breakfast such as purchasing grab-n-go carts.
- Grants to school food authorities for equipment purchases and upgrades to supplement existing equipment. There is still tremendous unmet demand for upgrading food service equipment, which can help schools better accommodate more fresh foods.
- Donations to schools and school districts to supplement shortfalls in income due to their electing to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision.
- Grants to organizations wishing to become Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors, nonprofit organizations such as Park and Recreation Departments, YMCAs, schools, hospitals and clinics.
- Grants to organizations willing to create or expand farmers and mobile markets, particularly in low-income communities where there is limited access to fresh produce.
- Grants could help pay for establishing these markets and/or setting up the technical infrastructure to support point of sale terminals which would take credit, debit, and EBT (for SNAP/Food Stamps).
- Donation of equipment or funds to support community gardens and school gardens.
- Grants for organizations that fight hunger. Grants to organizations that would develop a coalition to lead the planning to end childhood hunger in their community.
- Review food rescue policies with local food banks and school food authorities to see if there are opportunities for donations.
Use corporate assets to support the infrastructure used to alleviate hunger.
- Provide physical space for showcasing information on hunger programs, screening of possible food aid recipients, and/or application assistance by non-profit or government workers.
- Use refrigerated trucks to transport food from food banks to pantries, soup kitchens, and summer meal sites.
- Use refrigerated trucks to transport USDA foods from warehouses to schools.
- Use company transportation to support gleaning efforts (transporting people to farms for harvesting and then transporting them back).
- Donating land for use as community gardens or school gardens.
- Give employees time off to volunteer for organizations that provide food assistance including summer food service sites, food banks, food pantries, schools, and organizations that screen and help people apply for SNAP.
Push out messaging and education to customers and employees
- Use promotional materials such as FNS videos in store locations where customers can learn about nutritional programs.
- Distribute FNS program and nutrition education materials in retail stores. Materials are available for free on the FNS web site: www.fns.usda.gov.
- Distribute program and nutrition education materials to employees.
- Kiosks with information on FNS programs, screening, and application services in stores.
- Regular cooking demonstrations that focus on using healthy foods.
- Become a MyPlate Corporate Partner. Check to make sure MyPlate Corporate Partners and Food-aPedia still exist as options
- Promote Food-a-Pedia, an online food database that serves up nutritional statistics on hundreds of foods.
- Use corporate web sites to promote efforts to end childhood hunger, including many of FNS’s nonprofit partner organizations found on the FNS Partner webpages
- Tell customers that they can call 1-866-3-HUNGRY if they know someone who is having trouble feeding their family. (We could develop tear-off sheets if there is interest.)
- Create posters, recipe cards, and/or messages on shopping cards with 1-866-3-HUNGRY and MyPlate messaging.
Support the market for locally produced foods
- Purchase locally produced foods.
- Sell locally produced foods.
- Increase the amount of locally produced foods in office cafeterias, corporate events, and conferences. • Start an office-managed garden.
- Encourage employees to join Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) through a local farm. For convenience, the boxes of farm produce can then be delivered directly to the office if many employees join the same CSA.
- Offer organic backyard gardening classes to teach people how to produce their own food.
- Partner with schools to implement farm to table programs that teach healthy eating, sustainable agriculture, and the importance of local economies right in the classroom.
- Support the development and operation of farmers markets.
- Donate trucks to transport local foods from farms to schools.
Product development, enhancement, and marketing consistent with the Dietary Guidelines
- Use the Dietary Guidelines to develop healthier food products
- • Marketing/packaging food using the dietary guidelines and/or MyPlate
- Include healthy recipes in or on food packaging.
- Convene and lead local coalitions to end childhood hunger.
- Participate in local efforts to end childhood hunger.
- Become a Summer Food Service Program Sponsor.
- Open food retail outlets in food deserts.