BASF puts its money where its mouth is during Hunger Action Month
Company donates funds and holds virtual food drive for Feeding America.
BY ANNA SPIEWAK
September was a month of giving back for BASF. The company’s North America Crop Protection business donated $75,000 to Feeding America’s National Produce Program, providing 675,000 pounds of fresh produce to people in need – a contribution the company has made for the past four years. This year, its employees also started a virtual food drive to raise funds to support local food banks during Hunger Action Month.
In collaboration with Feeding America, Hunger Action Month in September brings awareness to the hunger crisis throughout the country and the work the nonprofit and nationwide network of food banks does to fight hunger.
“In our agricultural business, we work with farmers to make sure that they can yield a successful crop and feed our growing population,” said Amy Baldwin, Community Relations Manager, BASF Crop Protection, North America. “So, this aligns perfectly with our strategy to make sure that everybody has food on their tables.”
One in eight people and one in six children struggle with hunger in the U.S., according to Feeding America. Food insecurity—the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food—exists throughout the country in various degrees. Yet, each year, 20 billion pounds of fruits and vegetables are discarded on farms or left in the fields to be ploughed under, excluding produce lost at manufacturing and retail locations. By providing more produce to both rural and urban areas with shortages helps move people beyond food insecurity and intro strong, healthy lives, said Matt Knott, President at Feeding America, in a statement.
“With the help of partners like BASF, the Feeding America network has significantly grown its capacity to source produce in the last few years, securing a total of 1.3 billion pounds of produce in FY17,” Knott added.
Fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables, not only feeds people facing hunger, but also offers nutrient-rich foods that can improve health outcomes. Over the next 10 years, Feeding America plans to expand produce capture and distribution, more than doubling the number of meals provided through nutritious food, providing a total of 1.7 billion meals by 2025.
While BASF has consistently donated money the past four years to support Hunger Action Month, this year the company decided to go the extra mile and have its employees throughout its Crop Protection division participate in a virtual food drive by making financial contributions online.
Since the virtual drive started Sept. 11, employees and friends have already donated $15,500. All funds raised online will be sent to Feeding America food banks based on donor zip codes. This gives employees and any other donors a chance to aid their own communities and make a difference where they live.
Additionally, some BASF sites are conducting food drives while other employees are volunteering at food banks throughout the country, helping in sorting and bagging food.
BASF invites the community to participate in the drive and make donations at www.feedingamerica.org/basf.