Cargill is continuing their legacy and commitment to fighting food insecurity through a new $4.9 million donation to the Feeding America network of member food banks. The company's donation comes at a moment when the need for food assistance remains high from continued pandemic and economic impacts.
A key component of Cargill's latest donation will include $1.9 million in support of increasing the supply of nutritious protein throughout the charitable food system. Protein, including chicken, beef, pork, and even some plant-based foods, are the most requested items for people facing hunger. Yet many local food banks lack proper infrastructure to refrigerate and repackage donated bulk proteins in a safe way, significantly reducing their ability to supply protein to the communities they serve. The result of this far-reaching demand paired with a lack of supply is a substantial gap in the amount of protein being distributed versus what is needed.
One way to help combat this gap is through the creation and/or optimization of protein pack rooms that provide proper refrigeration and storage for proteins, in addition to equipment allowing food bank workers and volunteers to safely repackage bulk proteins into individual portions for recipients. A 30-foot by 40-foot pack room has the potential to prepare 300,000 pounds of bulk protein per year, which helps local food banks distribute additional protein to people facing hunger.
Cargill's allocated funding for protein access will be made in support of the North American Meat Institute (NAMI)'s Protein PACT for the People, Animals and Climate of Tomorrow (PACT), which encompasses NAMI's sustainability strategy and brings together a coalition of partners across animal agriculture committed to accelerating achievement of global development goals including ending hunger. The funding will be used to support the sustainment of protein pack rooms at local food banks and will also enable a set of innovative and complementary projects that aim to reduce the protein gap for vulnerable communities across the country.
"Cargill has proudly supported Feeding America for more than three decades, and their efforts to combat hunger across our nation." said Tom Windish, president of Cargill's beef and turkey business in North America. "We're excited to work together with industry partners like NAMI to ensure that the Feeding America network of food banks have access to more protein, a critical source of nutrition for the nation's most food insecure."
The remainder of Cargill's latest $4.9 million donation will go towards grants for food banks within Cargill markets, with a focus on rural communities and/or communities of color with high food insecurity rates. The donation will also support continued investment in Cargill's legacy food safety program and funding for disaster relief programs.
In 2020 alone, Cargill contributed more than $30 million to reducing global hunger and improving nutrition through diverse partnerships such as CARE, Heifer International, the World Food Program USA, Save the Children and Feeding America. In addition to its work with U.S. food banks, Cargill has also donated more than $500,000 to hunger relief organizations in Canada such as Food Banks Canada and Second Harvest Canada.
Cargill's 155,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 157 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture.