AS HUNGER RISES BY 35 PERCENT, 1,200 CHICAGOLAND KRAFT FOODS VOLUNTEERS ROLL UP SLEEVES FOR FIRST-EVER GLOBAL WEEK OF SERVICE
CHICAGO, October 6, 2009 — Forty volunteer projects. Six days. More than 1,200 Kraft Foods volunteers. What does that add up to? Thousands of lives touched throughout Chicagoland thanks to 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.
"We may be best known for cooking up tasty products like Oreo cookies and Kraft Mac & Cheese, but this week is all about making a delicious difference in our communities," explained Dave Brearton, Executive Vice President, Operations and Business Services. "The volunteer spirit of our employees combined with the expertise of organizations, like the Greater Chicago Food Depository, is a winning recipe to help fight hunger. Knowing our efforts are an important ingredient in our first global week of service makes this experience even more powerful."
Activities will take place today, Thursday and Saturday across Chicagoland. Projects include:
* Packing and sorting donated food for that will be provided to hungry families at Chicago Christian Industrial League, the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD), Lakeview Pantry, The Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB), People's Resource Center and St. James Food Pantry
* Leading "Olympic" events for kids to promote healthy lifestyles at Austin YMCA, Casa Central, Chicago Commons Taylor Center and Chicago International Charter School
* Planting community gardens at Bickerdike Redevelopment Corp.
* Using the alphabet to teach children about good nutrition at the Chicago Children's Museum
* Painting a healthy eating mural in a cafeteria at CARC, an organization for people with disabilities
* Providing seasonal maintenance for a vegetable garden at Chicago Botanic Gardens
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.
Serving Up the Spirit of Service When Needed Most
As the need rises across Chicagoland, Kraft Foods' commitment to preventing hunger and promoting healthy lifestyles is stronger than ever.
Kicking off the season of giving, the company will donate $300,000 to GCFD and NIFB -- organizations that are especially in need during these challenging times. GCFD has seen an unprecedented increase for food this year, serving 35 percent more individuals and 12 million more food compared to last year. And, NIFB witnessed a 36 percent increase in the amount of food distributed between April and June of 2009 versus the same period in 2008.
"The need here in Chicago is unprecedented," said Kate Maehr, executive director of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. "The gifts of time and money will put food on the table for men, women and children in our community. By teaming up with Kraft Foods volunteers, we can keep up with rising demand and achieve our mission of feeding families in need."
Spreading the Giving Spirit
Starting Oct. 13, people can visit www.kraftfoodscompany.com 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.
Kraft Foods Support of Hunger and Healthy Lifestyles
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.
Kraft Foods Company
Kraft Foods (www.kraftfoodscompany.com) makes today delicious in 150 countries around the globe. Our 100,000 employees work tirelessly to make delicious foods consumers can feel good about. From American brand icons like Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings, Maxwell House coffees and Oscar Mayer meats, to global powerhouse brands like Oreo and LU biscuits, Philadelphia cream cheeses, Jacobs and Carte Noire coffees, Tang powdered beverages and Milka, Cote d'Or, Lacta and Toblerone chocolates, our brands deliver millions of smiles every day. Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT - News) is the world's second largest food company with annual revenues of $42 billion. The company is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the Ethibel Sustainability Index.