Feeding hungry children around the world is a big mission.
But associates of Santander Consumer USA (SC) helped nonprofit Feed My Starving Children in Mesa, AZ, recently by packing 32 boxes in a few hours that would feed 109 kids for a year.
“Everyone worked together to pack as many boxes as possible,” said Beatriz C., referring to the 66 associates who participated in the activity. “We feel like we made a difference … when we see how many children will be fed with the boxes packed during our sessions.”
A group of SC associates in one session joined volunteers from several other organizations to pack a total of 185 boxes containing enough food for nearly 40,000 meals for hungry children.
The nonprofit, which has operated since 1987, has shipped more than 2.3 billion meals to more than 70 countries since its inception, according to the organization’s website. It operates eight permanent food-packing sites nationwide, including the Mesa location.
Working in two separate shifts at Feed My Starving Children, the SC volunteers scooped, weighed, bagged and labeled nutritionally complete meals including rice, soy and dried vegetables, then sealed the food in boxes for a shipment to the Philippines.
“Parents brought their children, schools brought in students, and everyone seemed to leave with smiles on their faces,” said Sylvia M., a two-time SC volunteer. “Our country has the ways and means of providing for our own indigent families, while other countries do not. It was satisfying to know that I and others were able to give a few hours of our day to this task.”
More than 5,000 SC employees in Texas, Arizona, Colorado and elsewhere have the opportunity to volunteer for local non-profit organizations using two days each of volunteer paid time off a year.
And the volunteers seem to appreciate the opportunity to make a difference.
“We were able to not only meet new peers, but create a bond outside of work,” said Finaidi C., who participated in the Feed My Starving Children event. “I love how SC provides volunteer opportunities to not only help our local communities but to empower associates to grow individually.”