This week, The Hershey Company is celebrating Good to Give Back Week, our global week of service. During Good to Give Back Week, each employee is encouraged to share goodness with the world by taking a few hours away from our day-to-day work to come together in teams and volunteer in our communities. It is one of my favorite times of year, and it’s also a favorite part of my job—as part of Hershey’s Corporate Social Responsibility team, I am tasked with helping to create high-impact partnerships with nonprofit organizations by leveraging the time and talents of our remarkable people.
Good to Give Back Week is in full swing. Across the United States, our office and plant locations host at least one service activity for employees, and at our larger locations - such as at our corporate headquarters in Hershey, PA - we curate dozens of volunteer opportunities in partnership with a range of community organizations. Many of these opportunities focus on our shared social purpose, Nourishing Minds, with many employees—such as our team in Hershey, as well as teams in Stuarts Draft, Va.; Washington, D.C.; and Memphis, Tenn.—volunteering with local food banks to provide nutrition for children.
Hershey teams around the world are also giving back. Hershey Canada kicked off Good to Give Back Week early, in partnership with Food Banks Canada, and packed 30,000 summer food packs for kids in May. Our China team is celebrating Good to Give Back Week with a series of special events benefiting migrant children. Hershey Mexico is working closely with Fondo Unido (United Way) to host a series of community service activities together. And our Hershey Malaysia team is planning a community health day benefiting children in a nearby village.
We are especially proud of our global Good to Give Back Week partnership with Rise Against Hunger. Over the past four years we have partnered with Rise Against Hunger to conduct high-energy meal-packing events in Hershey, Pa.; Manila, Philippines; and Mumbai, India. This year, we will add Mandideep, India, to that list and together we will hit an incredible milestone: On July 18, 800 of us will convene at the Giant Center in Hershey to pack our millionth Rise Against Hunger meal as a company. We are excited to hit the million-meal mark and thrilled that this partnership helps advance our work on Nourishing Minds.
While Good to Give Back Week is a moment in time each year when all of us at Hershey are focused on sharing goodness with the world through volunteerism, I’m also incredibly proud of the thousands of Hershey employees who embody this spirit year-round. In 2016, our remarkable people logged more than 104,000 volunteer hours, with 15% of our employee volunteers serving on the board of a nonprofit organization, and another 14% providing skills-based or pro-bono support on a regular basis. This year, Hershey is also piloting new skills-based service opportunities to build capacity in the nonprofit sector, and we are committed to exploring new ways to share goodness with the world in the months and years ahead.
I invite you to follow our Good to Give Back Week and year-round volunteer updates via #SharedGoodness on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram