Being at the heart of the foodservice industry makes it all the more upsetting to hear about members of our community who cannot even afford to put food on the table for their families, but unfortunately this is the sad reality for a staggering amount of individuals and families experiencing hardship across the globe.
This week our CEO, Rich Rund and our Director of Marketing, Kim Hoffman teamed up to represent CaterTrax while participating in the 31st annual Operation Food Basket initiative. Operation Food Basket was launched back in 1981 by Tony Carlisi, a Xerox employee, and is an annual campaign to raise money to supply groceries to hungry families in Rochester, NY who are below the poverty level.
The families who receive donation baskets are put through a rigorous screening process that qualifies their level of need. Operation Food Basket has grown exponentially over the three decades that the program has been in effect. The kickoff in 1981 brought in a total of $195 in donations which provided 283 pounds of food to two large families in Rochester. In 2010, donations topped the charts at $55,000 and over 400 families received a whopping 65,081 pounds of food to keep them afloat during the holidays. The fundraising campaign for this year’s Operation Food Basket program began back in October and the target goal was to raise $50,000 in donations which would provide 2,398 individuals with a week’s worth of groceries which were delivered to families in need on Tuesday, December 20th.
The turnout of volunteers for the 2011 campaign was incredible. Over 1,100 individuals and organizations donated funding and 400+ volunteers physically donated their time and energy to coordinating, packing and delivering the food baskets to needy families.
Some of the other sponsors involved in this year’s campaign include:
- Hope Ventures
- The Pampered Chef
- LiDestri Foods
- Lisa’s Hallmark
- Ralph Honda
- Dunn & Rice Design
- Wegman Companies Inc.
- The Rotary Club
- PJ and Sons Landscaping
- NYLES Trailer Sales
- New Beginnings Christian Fellowship
Our CEO, Rich Rund returned to the office with the biggest smile on his face and said:
“Being a part of this type of community service project and seeing the incredible force of volunteers from other local organizations is extremely humbling. Many people don’t stop to think about how good they have it compared to the overwhelming number of struggling families in our own back yard. It really gave us even more perspective on how blessed we are and how great it felt to brighten the holidays for our neighbors who need a helping hand. We hope that the inspiration is contagious and that others look for ways to give back not just in the holiday season, but year round.”