Dot Foods, the nation’s largest food redistributor, is kicking off its new philanthropic program – the Dot Foods Neighbor-to-Neighbor Food Bank Program – by donating $50,000 to The Idaho Foodbank, a statewide hunger relief organization. The Idaho Foodbank services 39 of Idaho’s 44 counties, including the Magic Valley area. Dot Foods’ Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program will give a total of $462,500 to ten Feeding America food banks nationally, helping to provide an estimated 4,162,500 nutritious meals* in 2014. This nationwide donation campaign is the largest donation in Dot Foods’ history.
“We are so pleased to be working with a company like Dot Foods to provide meals to hungry Idahoans,” said Karen Vauk, President and CEO of The Idaho Foodbank.. “Neighbor-to-Neighbor is such a unique program because it allows us to customize the program to our specific community needs and provide healthful, nutritional options. With one in six Idahoans facing hunger, programs like this are all the more vital.”
“Because food is our core business, providing charitable support in that area is a natural for us,” said Anthony Soto, Assistant General Manager of the Burley Distribution Center. “We have provided product to food banks over the years, and have established grant programs and volunteer programs with food pantries. We’re now taking those efforts to the next level with our Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program. This gives us a way to make an impact, beyond the monetary amounts, to Feeding America food banks that provide food to the pantries near our facilities and in the communities where our employees have built their lives.”
Dot Foods strives to be a good neighbor, often doing charitable work in the cities where it operates distribution centers across the nation. The company chose The Idaho Foodbank because it services multiple food pantries, soup kitchens and senior centers in cities and towns where Dot Foods’ employees live and work. In fact, last year The Idaho Foodbank distributed nearly 1,411,000 pounds of food into Cassia, Minidoka, Twin Falls and Jerome counties which provided enough food for 1,175,803 meals. In addition, we provided 305 Backpacks each weekend of the school year (to the schools listed) and those packs provided nutritious food for 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners and 2 snacks.
The Neighbor-to-Neighbor program invites participating food banks to use the donation to order from Dot’s discounted product list. The food bank will become a customer of Dot Foods and will have the opportunity to use its donation to order food directly from Dot, according to its own needs.
“Our Neighbor-to-Neighbor program will allow our partner food banks to identify their own food and nutritional needs – proteins, produce, grains, etc. – and use this grant to fill in their donation gaps to feed hungry residents and families,” Soto continued. “We have seen first-hand how these kinds of programs can change and inspire a community and we are excited to give back to the hard-working Dot Foods communities across the country.”
Participating food banks will work with Dot Foods to identify the types of products it most needs. Food banks are encouraged to use the grant in 2014 and may receive up to one food delivery each calendar quarter.
*Feeding America estimates $1 equals nine meals secured and distributed by Feeding America on behalf of local food banks. For each $1 donated to The Idaho Foodbank, the organization can provide the food needed for 3 meals.