(DEARBORN, December 3, 2010) – Amid the sparkling lights and snowflakes are thousands of holiday stories that are not so bright and cheerful. They are the stories of men, women and children who are hungry.
To help ease the pain, the Ford Volunteer Corps made hunger relief its top priority during a Ford Accelerated Action Day dedicated to feeding people in need. Hundreds of Ford employee and retiree volunteers stocked shelves in food storage warehouses, packed holiday food boxes and served meals in soup kitchens. Ford volunteers also fed more than 1,000 people from four Salvation Army Bed & Bread trucks.
"This is extremely important. We've had them working steadily, preparing to feed the homeless and senior citizens. The added hands from Ford made this whole day possible," said Karen Floyd-Sanders, manager, Business Development and Grants, Salvation Army. "We wouldn't be able to do this without the help of Ford and the volunteers."
"It's something all of us should do," said Dianne Benning, launch quality engineer, Livonia Transmission Plant. "It shows Ford thinks a lot about the community. It's not just about the company; it's about giving back as well."
More than 500 Ford volunteers went to work in southeast Michigan and several other states on 30 urgent community service projects identified by the company's nonprofit agency partners. Ford Motor Company Fund also contributed $50,000 that was distributed among hunger relief organizations to buy food and supplies.
At Southwest Solutions in Detroit, Ford volunteers built shelves for the food pantry at the Go-Getters Drop-In Center, which serves the area's homeless.
"You guys are all so awesome. You give and you give and you give," said Shirley Cockrell, director, Go-Getters Program. "Thank you for being here."
This Ford Accelerated Action Day is one of many hunger relief efforts supported by Ford Motor Company. Nine specially equipped vehicles recently were added to a fleet of 98 refrigerated trucks that are being used to collect and distribute food in all 50 states. Part of a ten-year partnership with Newman's Own and Feeding America, the trucks have traveled more than 5.7 million miles and delivered more than 130 million meals. Ford also is a sponsor of the holiday Meals on Wheels program for thousands of seniors in Michigan.
“Ford is continuing a long tradition of caring and community service by addressing one of the most basic of human needs," said Janet Lawson, director, Ford Volunteer Corps. “Collecting food and feeding people is an important step toward creating a better world."
"It says a lot about Ford as a company. We're not just inwardly focused, but also outwardly focused in supporting the community around us," said Mark Bentley, manager, Global Brand Licensing. "We're very fortunate to have our jobs, and to be able to take time out and share with others is the right thing to do."
The Ford Volunteer Corps is active throughout the year. Each September, Ford Global Week of Caring brings together thousands of employee volunteers on six continents to participate in community service projects. Ford Accelerated Action Days are concentrated one-day efforts to meet critical needs identified by our agency partners. Each Ford Accelerated Action Day is centered on a particular theme, such as Children and Families or Community Building.
In 2010, more than 20,000 Ford employees and retirees have volunteered to help people in local communities around the world.