Sunday, March 2, 2008

Food & Kids Memo: The Content of our Character: Preventing Childhood Hunger in America; Saving Kids' Lives in the Developing World With Clean Water

The Share our Strength organization, a non-profit group dedicated to the perfect humanitarian goal of trying to make sure not one kid in America goes to sleep hungry, has launched its Great American Bake Sale promotion and fundraising effort.

The major sponsors of this year's Great American Bake Sale are C&H brand and Domino brand Sugar. Both brands, C&H and Domino, have recently moved into the organic, raw and all-natural sugar categories. The brands are marketed in supermarkets, mass merchandise stores, natural foods stores, and other retail venues.
The two sugar brands are providing financial support to the "bake off" fundraiser, as well as conducting media and in-store promotions, with monies from the promotions going to Share Our Strength, to feed hungry kids.
The Food Network television network and Family Circle magazine are the media sponsors for this worthy and important campaign being coordinated by Share Our Strength.

Food Network celebrity Sandra Lee is the spokesperson for the fundraising effort and the various events during the month of March. Ms. Lee hosts the popular Semi-Homemade cooking show on Food Network and is the author of 13 books on the topics of foods and lifestyles. The show teaches viewers how they can prepare high-quality and healthy "semi-homemade' dishes conveniently and fast.

In Sunday newspaper's throughout America today C&H and Domino brand sugar dropped full-page FSI's advertising the Great American Bake Sale, using the tagline: "Ending Childhood Hunger Can Be A Piece of Cake." The FSI's include "cents off" coupons for the sugar brands' various products at the top of the page, with the large advertisement below, including a listing of the group's website, which is

Share Our Strength is holding events throughout the U.S. this month. Individuals and groups can go to the website and sign-up to hold bake sales and donate the proceeds to Share Our Strength to help make sure hungry kids are fed. Individuals, companies and groups also can fund a bake sale team with a donation if they don't want to hold an event themselves. Go to the website and click on the "Ways to Get Involved" link to get all the information on how you can support the group's efforts to help end childhood hunger in America.

Food and grocery industry business are participating by holding events as well. Restaurants across America are participating in the "Taste of the Nation" program, in which a percentage of profits for a certain period of time goes to feeding kids. There's also the "Great American Dine Out," which will happen in September. You can learn more about both programs on the Share Our Strength website.
Supermarkets also are getting into the act. In partnership with C&H brand and Domino brand sugar, retailers are setting-up in-store displays featuring various varieties of the sugar brand products, along with other baking ingredients and bake sale fundraiser point-of-purchase materials.

We can't think of a more important and noble effort than the goal of ending childhood hunger in America. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of kids go to sleep each night hungry in the U.S., the richest country in the world. Further, with food inflation and a stagnating economy in the U.S., more and more families are going without the food they need. Requests at food banks and food pantries have increased by at least 30% in the last year, and food needs continue to grow.

We ask our readers to donate or participate in Share Our Strength's efforts to feed kids. Doing all we can to ensure that no child go hungry if we can help it is a measure of the content of our character as people, as an industry and as a nation.

Proctor & Gamble's Pur Children's Safe Drinking Water Program

Consumer products and packaged goods giant Proctor & Gamble is launching a major international effort and promotion to literally help save the lives of children in less developed countries.

Every single day around the world, more than 4,000 children die from diseases caused by drinking unsafe water. To help end this horrible fact, Proctor & Gamble is the main corporate sponsor of the Children's Safe Drinking Water Program. [Learn all about the group's efforts here on its website.]

P&G has created a program involving its Pur Home Water Filtration System and the international safe drinking water for kids program.
The company distributed a multi-page free-standing insert (it's BrandSaver FSI) via Sunday newspapers in nearly every metropolitan U.S. city today announcing the program. For every Pur Water Filter coupon consumers redeem in March and April (another BrandSaver drop will happen next month), P&G will donate 1 liter of filtered drinking water to a child in the developing world. The goal for March and April is to be able to donate 50 million liters of safe, filtered water to developing world children.

The consumer products' and packaged goods giant also is supporting clean water for kids efforts through the program in a number of other ways. For example, it provides its Clean Water Kit, which is a portable water filtration kit that can be used by anybody anywhere, for free throughout the developing world. Using the simple kit, it takes just minutes to purify even the most seriously contaminated water. To date, the company says it has provided more than 500 million liters of pure filtered water by giving out the kits.

You can learn more about helping to save children's lives by simply helping to get them clean, pure water, something we in the developed world take for granted, here.

Instead of buying bottled water for a week or two, how about donating that amount--or more if you can afford it--to programs like this one which are working to save kids' lives. Such needless death truly challenges the content of our character as individuals, corporations and nations. We need to prevent the deaths of these 4,000 children who die each day because of a lack of clean water, and do so sooner rather than later.

You also can make an individual or corporate donation at the website here. Just click the donation link at the top of the screen. Find out more about Share Our Strength and childhood hunger in America here.


Anonymous said...

I appreciated your breakdown on the Sacramento trade area. It is very interesting to read your analysis of UFCW payscale, pension, and healthcare benefits as opposed to the Tesco's F&E model. I've searched through the blog, but have not found a similar breakdown on TJ's and Whole Foods, two other non-union entities. Have you elaborated on these two grocers pay and bennies before?
Thanks for the illumination.

Anonymous Seattle

Natural~Specialty Foods Memo said...

I think you meant to put this comment in a different piece, but that's fine.

Regarding Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, which are both non-union shops like Tesco's Fresh & Easy, we have mentioned this fact a number of times in numeroous stories. If you do a search for Fresh & Easy and Whole Foods Market on the blog you should see them.

Whole Foods and Trader Joe's do pay more than $10.00 hour starting wage in California, where Fresh & Easy has the majority of its stores to date.

Both also have health insurance plans (as does Fresh & Easy), although those plans arent as good as the UFCW union plan; few are.

Whole Foods' offers a discount stock purchase plan to its employees (or team members) which is pretty good. It is one reason sited by numerous store-level workers as to why they haven't voted to join the UFCW when petition drives have been offered. They also have a fairly generous bonus plan.

Whole Foods also has a graded salary program--after your first year you get a raise, ect., ect. Team members also can work-up the store-level latter (there are many rungs), and each step comes with pay increases.

Most of Whole Foods' store-level workers are full-time. Part-timers can bid for full-time as well if they want. No guarantees though.

Regarding Trader Joe's, they have a bonus program, and some form of profit-sharing plan. To our knowledge they are not a publicly traded U.S. company by virtue of the fact that the chain is owned by Germany's Albrech family, the owners of Aldi International.

Trader Joe's has a mix of full-time and part time store-level employees. Most part-time employees who desire to be full-time can get it generally, although they might have to move to another store.

Trader Joe's also has a pretty comprehensive career development program for store-level workers. They have a manager training program, and have in-store department head positions (full-time) that increase a person's hourly wage.

In the management development program a store-level worker can become an assistant manager in a year if they work hard and have the talent. We are told Trader Joe's asst. managers make about 70-k. year. Store managers make at least 100-k a year.

Based on U.S. labor laws, employees of any independent supermarket or chain have the right to organize and join a union.

Our view is that it is their choice to do so or not. When we point out what the UFCW supermarkets--like Safeway, Ralph's and on an on--offer in wages and benefits we aren't suggesting employees at non-union shops should join. That's up to them.