NORTHFIELD, Ill., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- From the Middle East to the Midwest – and in hundreds of local communities in between – Kraft Foods employees volunteered in record numbers during this month's Delicious Difference Week, the company's annual week of community service.
In partnership with hundreds of nonprofit partners, more than 20,000 volunteers in 56 countries dedicated time to serve their communities and raise awareness for important social issues. Events included planting community gardens, building playgrounds, serving nutritious meals to the hungry, helping children in need and assisting at food banks. In addition, to help build the capacity of the nonprofits to better leverage this volunteer enthusiasm, the company and foundation awarded nearly $3 million in grants related to the global week of service.
Delicious Difference Week is part of the company's ongoing commitment to fight hunger and encourage healthy lifestyles. Partnering with community organizations around the world, Kraft Foods leverages the power of its people, products and programs to drive sustainable change.
"I'm so proud of our employees. We've touched the lives of so many people. While giving back has always been an important part of our company culture, our people went all out this year to make a difference in the communities where they live and work," said Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO, who volunteered to help build a playground in Chicago and to serve food to the homeless in the United Kingdom.
Below are several examples of employee volunteer efforts from around the world:
- Brazil: Nearly 3,000 employees across Brazil got involved in dozens of events held in more than 40 cities. Projects included home maintenance for the elderly, production of liquid soap for people in impoverished communities and the sorting of vital hospital supplies. An estimated 50,000 people benefitted from Brazil's efforts during Delicious Difference Week.
- Dubai: More than 100 Kraft Foods employees spent five hours building a line of sandwiches stretching more than 2.5 km (1.6 miles), breaking a record for the world's longest sandwich. The sandwich contained 500 kg (1,100 lbs.) of Kraft cream cheese spread and 900 kg (2,000 lbs.) of tomatoes, cucumbers and olives. It provided nutritious meals to more than 10,000 people struggling with hunger in Dubai.
- Japan: Poverty and environmental issues were the focus across Japan, where nearly 300 employees fed the hungry, worked to better the environment, and strengthened resources for children in need. Some volunteers made onigiri, balls of rice, to feed those struggling with poverty and hunger. Others picked up thousands of pieces of garbage along the Arakawa River in Tokyo.
- United Kingdom: This Delicious Difference Week was particularly special, as it marked the first time Kraft Foods employees volunteered alongside their new Cadbury colleagues in the UK. More than 1,000 employees volunteered to serve meals to the homeless, redistribute food that may have otherwise gone to waste and sort donated clothing.
- United States: In 13 communities in eight states, about 1,500 employees built brand new playgrounds from start to finish in just one day. In total, the playgrounds will benefit more than 100,000 children across the country. The playgrounds were built in partnership with KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization specializing in safe play spaces for children. Additional volunteer events across the United States included serving meals at soup kitchens, packing boxes at food banks, and planting vegetable gardens.
Help Kraft Foods' volunteer spirit go viral
With just a click of the mouse, it's easy for people everywhere to lend a hand and support Kraft Foods' fight against hunger and support of healthy lifestyles. For every "like" of the company's corporate Facebook page, Kraft Foods will donate 10 meals to the United Nations World Food Programme. And for every photo of play uploaded to a photo mosaic on the Facebook page, Kraft Foods will donate 20 meals.
About Kraft Foods
The company and the Kraft Foods Foundation have donated nearly $1 billion in cash and food to hunger-relief organizations over the past 25 years. Through support of partners, including Save the Children, Feeding America, INMED Partnerships for Children, Charities Aid Federation and CARE, the company and Foundation support programs in 46 countries and on almost every continent.
Kraft Foods is building a global snacks powerhouse and an unrivaled portfolio of brands people love. With annual revenues of approximately $48 billion, the company is the world's second largest food company, making delicious products for billions of consumers in approximately 170 countries. The portfolio includes 11 iconic brands with revenues exceeding $1 billion – Oreo, Nabisco and LU biscuits; Milka and Cadbury chocolates; Trident gum; Jacobs and Maxwell House coffees; Philadelphia cream cheeses; Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings; and Oscar Mayer meats. Approximately 70 brands generate annual revenues of more than $100 million. Kraft Foods (www.kraftfoodscompany.com;NYSE : KFT ) is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index.
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SOURCE Kraft Foods