MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- One child dies every five seconds from hunger-related causes.
That's the type of haunting statistic that UN World Food Day, October 16, is designed to change. Alleviating hunger is also a key focus area for Cargill's charitable giving efforts, which reached $57.5 million during the company's 2010 fiscal year ending May 31.
"Around the globe more people are hungry now than ever before," said Michelle Grogg, senior director, Cargill corporate contributions. "The problem is too big for any single entity to solve alone. At Cargill, we're trying to help ensure everyone has enough to eat by engaging our employees on the issue, as well as partnering with organizations to help find long-term solutions."
More than a dozen Cargill locations around the globe will participate in activities ranging from collecting and distributing food at local food banks to serving meals at local shelters as part of World Food Day.
Cargill also invited its businesses, locations and 131,000 employees to help fight hunger in their local communities during fiscal 2010. The company promised to match each dollar its business units contributed as part of its Nourishing People Challenge Grants. As a result, $3.5 million in cash and food products was raised for local organizations working on long-term and emergency hunger efforts, including a donation of 495,000 pounds of egg products to Feeding America's national protein program from Cargill Kitchen Solutions in Monticello, Minn. "The donation from Cargill Kitchen Solutions is an important source of protein for some of the 37 million Americans that we feed annually. They are our largest donor of egg products, nutritious food that's especially welcome by our food bank members," said Randy Starck, senior account manager, protein, at Feeding America.
The company's total charitable giving in fiscal 2010 was down slightly from the previous year, but represents a doubling of total contributions in six years. Nearly 50 percent of Cargill's giving is directed to developing and emerging countries in which the company has a presence. Along with nutrition and health, Cargill focused its giving primarily in the areas of education and environmental stewardship. New and/or expanded partnerships in fiscal 2010, included:
- CARE— A $2 million donation to CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty, marking the third installment in a five-year, $10 million commitment. The project aims to help 100,000 people in rural areas in seven nations lift themselves out of poverty. In fiscal 2010, the initiative expanded to include improving livelihoods for cocoa farmers in Cote d'Ivoire. Among this year's achievements: 76,000 students are participating in school lunch programs, 82,000 students are enrolled in Cargill-supported schools and 14,500 farmers increased their production and sales. After implementing agricultural practices recommended by a farmer association organized by Cargill/CARE, Ghana farmer Mame Dufie said, "I am now able to make enough money to look after my children and to buy farm inputs. I am still harvesting cocoa in the month of January, something that never happened before!"
- PROJECT LEAD THE WAY (PLTW)— A $1.5 million gift over three-years will bring PLTW's engineering curricula to fifty schools across the nation in communities where Cargill has a presence. PLTW focuses on showing 6th-12th graders how engineers use technology to solve everyday problems with a goal of encouraging students to pursue high education in science, technology, engineering and math. The gift builds upon previous donations which brought PLTW to schools in Minneapolis and Osseo, Minn.
- WORLD WILDLIFE FUND (WWF)— Grants of $400,000 are supporting Cargill's collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on two projects. WWF has undertaken an assessment of Cargill's palm oil suppliers in Indonesia as part of the company's continued commitment to sustainable palm oil production. The assessment will help gauge current progress amongst Cargill's suppliers to implement the principles and criteria established by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). A second project aims to bring stakeholders together to develop new standards for sustainable beef production.
- THE NATURE CONSERVANCY (TNC)— A $1 million grant over two-years continues Cargill's work with TNC in China, Brazil and along the upper Mississippi River in the U.S. "In Santarem, we were able to reduce and stabilize the deforestation rate in six years among the soy farms participating in the Responsible Soy Project. Cargill confronted the problem and provided a solution— a system to monitor suppliers and help them get into compliance," said TNC's project director. Funds will also support new projects along the Missouri River in the U.S. and to help preserve biodiversity in the Patagonian Grasslands of Argentina.
Cargill supported community giving efforts in more than 54 countries in fiscal 2010, including:
- A $1 million grant to the city of Palembang in South Sumatra, Indonesia, to construct a water treatment plant. The plant will supply clean water to the athlete's village for the 2011 Southeast Asian Games, as well as 18,000 nearby households.
- Grants totaling $780,000 for nutrition, education and environmental programs in Brazil, including a new project designed to strengthen job-training and technical programs for teenage students in the state of Mato Grosso.
- A gift of $140,000 which continues support for the Antinea Foundation's work to map 100 of the most important marine eco-regions in the world.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit www.cargill.com.
About Cargill Community Giving
Cargill gives back to communities by contributing 2 percent of its global consolidated pre-tax earnings (based on a three-year trailing average). Cargill donated $57.5 million in 54 countries during its 2010 fiscal year. We provide support to organizations, projects and programs that fall in three focus areas: nutrition and health; education; and environmental stewardship.