The Caterpillar Foundation Joining with GFN to Fight Hunger
Earlier this year, the Caterpillar Foundation generously awarded The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) a grant of more than US$500,000 to help GFN and two of our member national food bank networks – Asociación Mexicana de Bancos de Alimentos (AMBA) (Mexican Association of Food Banks) and FareShare (United Kingdom) – combat hunger. This investment by the Caterpillar Foundation will help significantly expand the capacity of two AMBA food banks to distribute needed food throughout their service areas and significantly expand the service areas covered by two FareShare food depots.
A substantial portion of the funds will be directed to building the capacity of food banks in Monterrey and Torreón, Mexico, and Leicester and Newcastle upon Tyne, England. These funds will help provide needed warehouse space and improvements to warehouses, new equipment for refrigeration and cold storage of perishable foods, and vehicles to pick up and deliver food.
Banco de Alimentos de Cáritas de Torreón in Torreón distributes an average of 160 tons of food a month to approximately 24,000 people. The food bank’s 600-square-meter warehouse can hold 200 tons of food, with two cooling chambers and a freezer. The food bank also preserves donations of seasonal harvests by canning fresh foods. Caterpillar employees working nearby will be able to volunteer at the food bank and could contribute valuable skills and service by training forklift operators, repairing motors, stocking and packaging food, and delivering food to rural areas.
Infrastructure and transportation improvements are critical to the food bank’s mission. As Pita Campa, Director of the Torreón Food Bank, explained, a new truck purchased with this funding will,“allow us to get more food from agricultural fields and thus provide more food and a greater variety to people living in food poverty in rural communities. They will have a better diet, and can do better in school and work life.”
Serving the community for 22 years, Banco de Alimentos de Cáritas de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico, provided an average of 6,551 tons of food in 2010 for more than 208,000 people in urban and rural communities. Additionally, the food bank delivers nutrition, health, and human development education, and inspires communities to share information about healthy meal options. Caterpillar employees will have service opportunities to sort donated food, make and deliver food packages, and participate at food related events.
New forklifts and trucks will not only significantly improve the efficiency of operations at the food bank and strengthen the collection and distribution of fresh food, but will also help expand nutrition education programs. “A new 12 passenger van will help us transport employees and social service providers who undertake community assessments and provide guidance on health and nutrition,” explained Blanca Castillo, Director of the Monterrey food bank. “We will offer dietary guidance talks that will help families to identify and use food resources that are available in their communities, gain knowledge of nutrition and health, and encourage the active and committed participation of the community.”
FareShare food depots (food banks) in Leicester and Newcastle upon Tyne will see significantly increased operations, expanding their ability to reach thousands more hungry people.
“The grant from GFN, made possible by the Caterpillar Foundation will be completely transformational for the organisation in these two regions, helping us to widen our reach and strengthen our ability to meet the growing need for our work across then UK." said Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive of FareShare. "We would like to thank GFN and the Caterpillar Foundation for this fantastic donation, helping our fight against hunger in the UK.”
Since 2008, the Leicester food depot has been reaching 2,000 people each year, with dedicated volunteers operating one day a week from a church hall and distributing food provided by a larger food depot in Birmingham. With this support, the food bank will begin operating five days a week delivering food from a dedicated food warehouse. Increased networking through community groups will help to reach the goal of serving 4,000 people.
Established in 2010, the Newcastle upon Tyne food depot in the North East of England currently delivers food to support approximately 2,000 vulnerable people in the region. With the acquisition of an additional refrigerated delivery vehicle, 20 additional community organizations stand ready to help extend the food bank’s reach. The new vehicle will enable access to local food sourcing, in addition to national sourcing through FareShare, and provide new connections with FareShare depots in Yorkshire and Manchester.
"The Caterpillar Foundation is proud to support the important work being done by The Global FoodBanking Network," said Michele Sullivan, Caterpillar Foundation vice president. "Together we will help tens of thousands of disadvantaged and undernourished people in Mexico and the United Kingdom, and take another step toward a larger shared goal of fighting world hunger."
GFN is proud to partner with the Caterpillar Foundation to develop innovative ways to ensure that food reaches hungry people served by FareShare and Asociación Mexicana de Bancos de Alimentos, and grateful to be the recipient of this special grant. “We are delighted to collaborate with the Caterpillar Foundation in our mission,” said Jeff Klein, President and CEO of GFN. “It is critical to demonstrate the significant impact global corporations other than the food industry can have in the fight to address global hunger. We are grateful to the Caterpillar Foundation for taking a leadership role in this regard.”
About the Caterpillar Foundation
Caterpillar Inc. supports the philanthropic efforts of the Caterpillar Foundation. Founded in 1952, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than US$500 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs.
For more than 85 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making progress possible and driving positive and sustainable change on every continent. With 2011 sales and revenues of US$60.1 billion, Caterpillar is a technology leader and the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, clean diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.