Hunger relief is a natural focus area for Sysco, given our ability to safely supply healthy and nutritious food. We prioritize programs and activities aimed at eliminating childhood hunger and encouraging good nutrition in lower-income families.
In 2014 Sysco served its second year as the National Presenting Sponsor for Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation, an event we have supported as Official Food Service Marketer and Distributor for 12 years. We have contributed more than $5 million to Share Our Strength since 2002. Sysco offers additional support beyond its financial commitment by encouraging its operating companies to volunteer and to contribute products to Taste of the Nation events in their communities. With a long history of contributing to the food needs of the areas it serves, Sysco is committed to ending childhood hunger in America.
In FY2014, we contributed $3.7 million in cash and in-kind donations to hunger relief organizations. This included 6.3 million pounds of products given to Feeding America, a nationwide network of member food banks.
Sysco is walking the talk to ensure kids have healthy eating options. We have been the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) endorsed distribution partner since 2013, offering the only proprietary turnkey program for operators supporting the Kids LiveWellSM program. This industry-wide initiative launched by the NRA provides parents with a growing selection of healthful children's menu choices.
Two Sysco promotions in FY2014 benefited community partner Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry® campaign. Sysco's Disposables Team contributed $32,000 with a promotion that donated 25 cents to No Kid Hungry® for each new case of Trendz products sold from March to May.
Because Sysco's core operational strengths include getting food to people and serving others, our partnership with the Houston Astros to serve food-insecure families in our communities is a natural fit. For a second year, we partnered with the team for eight weeks to provide nutritious meals to at-risk youth at Little League baseball games.
When the intensity, severity and duration of the 2014 wildfire season in Southern California strained the area's emergency responders, Sysco San Diego put its own emergency response plan into action, working around the clock to provide needed supplies.
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