Hunger Relief


In 2016 Sysco served its fourth 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 14 years. Taste of the Nation, which raises funds for No Kid Hungry, is the premier culinary benefit dedicated to fighting childhood hunger in the U.S. We have contributed approximately $6.5 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.

In FY2016, we contributed more than 7 million pounds of products to Feeding America, a nationwide network of member food banks. Below are several highlights from a year spent supporting efforts to nourish kids and families in our communities.

Sysco and Which Wich Spread the Love by making thousands of pb&j sandwiches

On April 2, 2016, National Peanut Butter and Jelly (PB&J) Day, six Sysco operating companies in the U.S. partnered with longtime customer Which Wich Superior Sandwiches to make and pack thousands of PB&J sandwiches to donate to those in need in their local communities.

Sysco OpCos in Albuquerque, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Phoenix and San Diego hosted Spreading Parties, where about 50 volunteers – including Sysco associates, Which Wich employees, Boy Scout troops and several other groups from the community – created an average of 4,000 meals for those in need. Check out this video for a glimpse into one of the spreading parties in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“It was wonderful to engage with our strategic partner Sysco, who allowed us the use of not only their facilities, but their very cooperative staff,” said Charles Ballard, National Director for Project PB&J. “We were able to feed more than 25,000 people as a result of this amazing team effort on April 2.”

Sysco also hosted PB&J spreading parties in 2016 in two separate events in Dallas, TX:

  • The Association for Healthcare Foodservice conference where attendees made over 7,000 sandwiches, and
  • The FARE conference where the world record was broken and over 38,000 PB&J sandwiches were prepared.

At each of these events, the PB&J Sandwiches were prepared with products donated by Sysco.

These events are part of Which Wich’s continuing effort to transform the brown-bag lunch staple into a way to help feed those in need. Since its inception in 2014, Project PB&J has been able to feed nearly half a million people across the United States and they hope to feed 100,000 more people by the end of National PB&J Month.

Sysco partners with brighter bites to nourish kids in texas

In March 2016, twenty-five associates from Sysco’s Supply Chain Services team donated time and energy to Brighter Bites, a non-profit operating in Texas that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to schoolchildren and educates them about healthier food choices.

During the volunteer effort held at a southwest Houston elementary school, associates unloaded hundreds of crates of fresh fruit and vegetables donated by Sysco, several of our suppliers and various other local organizations. Using an assembly line process, they compiled more than 800 bags – each containing around 14 different produce items – that will provide 400 low-income families with a week’s worth of fruits and vegetables. The schoolchildren also receive in-class lessons and parent education materials to get the whole family involved in learning more about healthier eating.

As part of the Brighter Bites program, Sysco donates about 2,000 pounds of produce a week through our fresh produce suppliers. Our Houston operating company stores the produce until it’s ready for distribution. The produce is then picked up by the Houston Food Bank and delivered on a weekly basis to in-need elementary schools around the city. This is a shining example of community partnership.

In May 2016, Sysco’s Vice President, Produce, Rich Dachman, who serves on the Board of Brighter Bites, attended the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit in Washington, D.C. At the summit, he collaborated with other attendees, met with several members of congress and their staff to discuss both Brighter Bites’ and Sysco’s efforts to address obesity and healthier eating and was on hand for First Lady Michelle Obama to introduce new food labeling requirements.

Sysco Central California Helps Raise $150,000 for Second Harvest Food Bank

In 2016, Sysco Central California hosted and sponsored the Empty Bowls Fundraiser, benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank, an area non-profit that helps families in need in California’s Central Valley. Operating company President, Liz Aspray, is a member of the Second Harvest Board of Directors.

More than 65 associates volunteered their time and rallied additional support from our FreshPoint Central California and Newport Meat Company locations. Several Sysco supplier partners also generously donated product and money to show their support for the community and Sysco.

The event’s 350 attendees enjoyed both live and silent auctions, which raised just over $150,000 – a resounding $35,000 more than the prior year.

“I was so proud to stand side-by-side with our caring associates and their families to represent Sysco’s values and work to make a difference on an important social issue like hunger relief,” said Liz. “I’m humbled by the commitment of our associates, suppliers and customers to give back in such a significant way. Efforts like this show yet again how good things – and people – really do come from Sysco.”

Case Study

A Leader in Healthy Eating Options

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 LiveWell℠ program. This industry-wide initiative launched by the NRA provides parents with a growing selection of healthful children's menu choices

Case Study

Fighting Childhood Hunger with Share our Strength

Sysco once again partnered with Share our Strength in a 2015 Share My Plate promotion that asked participants to snap pictures of their meals when dining out and upload the images to Instagram.

Case Study

Lending Support to Help Residents Impacted by Devastating Wildfires

The recent mandatory evacuation of all 70,000+ Fort McMurray residents -- the largest fire-related evacuation in Alberta’s history -- inspired Sysco Canada to partner with the Canadian government and Canadian Red Cross in support of the victims of last month’s devastating wildfires, which destroyed 2,400 structures and more than 10 percent of the city.