AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Aug. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
- 1 in 5 Michigan children struggle to access nutritious food
- Thousands of Chrysler Group employees embrace challenge to end childhood hunger
This summer, Chrysler Group LLC partnered with United Way for Southeastern Michigan (UWSEM) to join in the fight against childhood hunger and raise awareness for underused summer meal programs throughout Detroit metro area communities. A variety of employee-supported initiatives, including volunteering at local food pantries, company and community food drives, and community summer food program events, served up more than 100,000 summer meals for hungry children.
"We couldn't have achieved such success without combining forces with a company like Chrysler and other Detroit-based organizations," said Eric Davis, Director, Food Initiative, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. "The fact that we can rally together and utilize our resources to ignite change in such a critical issue like childhood hunger shows the commitment of these organizations to Detroit and its surrounding communities."
From June to August, thousands of Chrysler Group employees participated in a variety of initiatives throughout metro Detroit aimed at ending childhood hunger, including an on-line pledge to end hunger by sharing information through social media.
"The response to this challenge has been overwhelming," said Nancy Rae, Senior Vice President- Human Resources, Chrysler Group LLC. "With 1 in 5 children across Michigan struggling to access nutritious food, childhood hunger is an issue that really hits home for the employees working in our plants and offices. It's truly rewarding to see how their spirit of volunteerism and devotion to the cause has made a difference."
Company and Community Food Drives
Through company-wide food drives and door-to-door collections in the Rochester Hills area, Chrysler Group employees collected 16 tons of non-perishable food – enough to prepare 28,000 meals to feed hungry children and families throughout metro Detroit. The food drives, held in partnership with the United Auto Workers (UAW), benefited local food pantries operated by Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan (Gleaners).
Weekend Backpacks Help Bridge the Hunger Gap
The Chrysler Foundation and Chrysler Group also partnered with Gleaners to fill and distribute 12,000 weekend backpacks with nutritious food (a total of 72,000 meals) for children who are at risk of hunger and malnutrition this summer. The backpacks, filled with sliced peaches, cut green beans, beef ravioli, spaghetti and meatballs, raisin bran cereal and shelf stable milk – enough food for about six weekend meals – help to bridge the hunger gap during the weekends when summer food service programs are not available.
Food, Friends and Fun
Some 1,900 children and adults attended summer "Food, Friends and Fun" block parties and were fed a free nutritious lunch. The block parties, which also featured music, games and other family-friendly activities, were created to remind parents about the free Summer Meals Program available to children – 18 and under. The UAW, UWSEM and Chrysler Group teamed up to create the events that were held during the month of August at various locations throughout the Detroit metro area.
"Truly, we are in a fortunate position –as a company and as individuals – to reach out to our neighbors, especially children, to help provide a degree of stability to their lives," added Rae.
About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan Detroit community through its annual Campaign and is a leader in convening partners to impact local residents each year by increasing economic self-sufficiency, protecting children and youth at risk, strengthening families, empowering neighborhoods and communities, and promoting health and wellness. Additional information is available at www.LiveUnitedSEM.org.
About Chrysler Group LLC
Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A., produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group's culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat's complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., Chrysler Group's product lineup features some of the world's most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country, Jeep Wrangler, all-new Dodge Dart, Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Fiat 500. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.
SOURCE Chrysler Group LLC