New National Mobile Pantry Fleet of 25 Trucks to Deliver More Than 50 Million
Nutritious Meals Over Three Years
NEW YORK, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT)
and Feeding America today announced expanded efforts to reach hungry families
in America during these challenging economic times. To provide more Americans
with better access to more nutritious, balanced and delicious meals, the
organizations' leaders unveiled a new national mobile pantry program that will
deliver more than 50 million meals over the next three years.
To support the mobile pantry effort, in addition to providing millions of
pounds of food, Kraft is donating $4.5 million to Feeding America over the
next three years to purchase up to 25 mobile pantries. Over the last 25
years, Kraft has contributed $770 million in funding and food to support
Feeding America and other hunger relief initiatives worldwide. The mobile
pantry program is part of Kraft's new, three-year $180 million commitment to
fighting hunger and supporting healthy lifestyles globally.
"The face of hunger in America is changing," said Irene Rosenfeld,
Chairman and CEO, Kraft Foods. "As the leading food company in America, I'm
proud that Kraft is stepping up to help families put nutritious meals on their
tables. For more than 25 years, in partnership with Feeding America, we've
made America's favorite brands available to those in need. Now we're building
on our long-standing support with a new fleet of mobile pantries to reach even
more hungry families."
"Hunger in America is increasing at an alarming rate," said Vicki Escarra,
President and CEO, Feeding America. "For more than a quarter century, Kraft
Foods has consistently provided the resources and innovation to help fight
hunger in the United States. In these difficult economic times, it's more
important than ever to reach the hungry. Kraft has helped us fund a creative
program to serve those most in need. Together, we're feeding America, one
meal and one mile at a time."
Food Insecurity on the Rise
The announcement comes at a time of increased concern given the recent
economic downturn. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that food
insecurity -- recurring lack of access to adequate amounts of nutritious food
-- is experienced by more than 35 million Americans.
A new poll commissioned by Kraft Foods, which is referenced in a case
study (http://www.feedingamerica.org/kraftfoods) released by Feeding America
today, found a shocking rate of food insecurity across diverse economic
brackets. Nearly half of the 1,000 people surveyed said economic changes have
threatened their ability to provide their families with balanced, nutritious
meals from a range of food groups including fresh fruits, vegetables and
proteins. Almost 45 percent said recent economic changes have threatened
their ability to provide enough food for their families. And 56 percent of
those making $25,000 or less a year said they are more likely to use a food
Mobile Pantry Feeds America -- One Mile at a Time
The Kraft Mobile Pantry -- literally a pantry on wheels -- will help feed
thousands of Americans at risk of hunger by bringing food directly to
communities that are currently underserved by food pantries, soup kitchens and
other emergency-feeding programs. The initiative builds on the success of a
Chicago-area pilot program funded by Kraft Foods in recent years.
By making an average of three trips a week, each vehicle can distribute
the equivalent of 1.1 million meals annually to Americans who might otherwise
go hungry. Over the next three years, as these vehicles are deployed across
the country, these mobile pantries will provide more than 50 million meals to
families in need.
During the first year of the program, mobile pantries will be delivered to
New York; Chicago; San Antonio; Madison, Wis.; Central Valley (Fresno area),
Calif.; Cincinnati and Newberry, S.C.
Many food distribution agencies, including those receiving mobile pantries
in the first year of the program, are more than 120 miles from the nearest
food bank. Even in urban settings, there is an increase in "food deserts" --
places where there are no grocery stores or supermarkets within walking
distance. And, many people are newly in need of food assistance and don't
know where to find help. These brightly colored, beverage-style trucks will
directly provide hungry families with balanced meal options including, Kraft
Macaroni and Cheese and Oscar Mayer meats, along with fresh fruits, vegetables
and dairy products. Stops will be made at neighborhood food pantries, soup
kitchens, churches, schools or parking lots.
"When it comes to innovation, Kraft may be best known for delicious
products like Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs, Oreo Cakesters or Kraft Bagel-fuls,
but our quest for innovation also extends into our community outreach," said
Rosenfeld. "The mobile pantry partnership with Feeding America builds on what
Kraft does everyday. We bring delicious and nutritious foods to market."
"As one of the first markets to receive a new mobile pantry, we'll be able
to serve more people in need -- especially those in remote locations who
cannot always get to a local food distribution facility," said Jilly
Stevenson, Executive Director, City Harvest, a hunger relief organization in
New York City. "Our new mobile pantry will help us provide balanced and
nutritious food to families who might not otherwise be able to access enough
food and the right kinds of food needed for a healthy lifestyle."
Echoing the need, Linda Gibbs, New York City's Deputy Mayor for Health and
Human Services, added, "Since 2002 the Bloomberg administration has worked
hard to bring nutritious and affordable food to communities that are limited
in financial resources and have an inadequate supply of healthy choices. A
critical priority has been to target this effort in neighborhoods with high
rates of diabetes and obesity. We work closely with hundreds of soup kitchens
and food pantries, and we try new twists on old standards -- like offering
students free breakfasts in their first class of the day to increase the
chance they will start the day with a full stomach and a ready mind."
A Call to Action to Americans
In addition to the mobile pantry announcement, Kraft and Feeding America
are encouraging others to get involved through the new Fill-A-Bowl, Feed
America campaign launched by Feeding America today. Donations can be made
online at http://www.feedingamerica.org/fillabowlfeedamerica. As the
program's inaugural partner, Kraft will match consumer donations dollar for
dollar up to $200,000 starting today. With Kraft's match, each dollar donated
by consumers will enable Feeding America to fill 32 bowls for hungry families.
Kraft's match alone will help provide up to 3.2 million meals this holiday
Also today, Kraft employees kicked-off the effort by making donations to
Fill-A-Bowl, Feed America, supported by a 2:1 Kraft match. This initiative
begins a new chapter in Kraft's tradition of employee involvement. Earlier
this week, the company launched new efforts, such as Dollars for Doers and an
enhanced matching gifts program, to engage more employees in community
activities across the globe.
Kraft's Support of Hunger and Healthy Lifestyles
As America's leading food company, Kraft Foods is taking a stand when it
comes to hunger. Since 1997, Kraft has provided more than 1 billion servings
of fresh food worldwide. Around the world, Kraft contributes approximately
$100 million annually in food and money to community organizations in more
than 130 countries. By partnering with organizations, such as Feeding
America, Kraft provides much-needed food to hungry people throughout the
United States. Kraft is a mission and founding partner of Feeding America.
ABOUT KRAFT FOODS INC.
Kraft Foods (http://www.kraft.com) is the world's second largest food
company with annual revenues of approximately $40 billion and sales in more
than 150 countries. For more than a century, we've been inspired by consumers
to deliver delicious foods that fit the way they live. From American brand
icons like Kraft cheeses, dinners and dressings, Maxwell House coffees and
Oscar Mayer meats, to global powerhouse brands like Oreo and LU biscuits,
Philadelphia cream cheeses, Jacobs and Carte Noire coffees, Tang powdered
beverages and Milka, Cote d'Or, Lacta and Toblerone chocolates, we're proud
that our brands deliver millions of smiles a day. Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT) is
a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500, the Dow
Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index.
About Feeding America (Formerly America's Second Harvest)
Feeding America provides individuals and families facing hunger with the
fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation's largest domestic
hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 25 million
Americans each year, including 9 million children and 3 million seniors.
Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks operate
63,000 agencies that address hunger through emergency food assistance and
programs. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community
and across the country, visit http://www.feedingamerica.org.
/CONTACT: Lisa Gibbons of Kraft Foods, +1-847-646-4538, email@example.com;
or Ross Fraser of Feeding America, +1-312-641-6422,