When International Paper chose to help the Mid-South Food Bank as part of its Signature Giving Program, they wanted to make a long-term impact. Thanks to a 1.25 million dollar donation made at a press conference Wednesday morning, the food bank now plans on opening a facility big enough to handle the growing operation.
“We just don’t have what we need to be able to get [all the food] processed,” says Estella Mayhue-Greer, president for the Mid-South Food Bank. “Now we won’t lose as much product. It’s going to help us have the adequate refrigeration and storage space that we need.”
But it’s more than just money. Volunteers with International Paper also spend time, like they did Wednesday morning, packing food boxes for the elderly.
“We want to help in the neighborhoods where our employees live and work and because we make so much packaging and so much of our business is around moving food and other products to market,” says Mark Sutton, CEO for International Paper. “We feel this is a perfect fit for our employees to get involved.”
Thanks to another donation made Wednesday, now when someone receives a food box, it will be in a custom food bank box made by International Paper.
“They have to use new boxes for food safety, so they’re going to get boxes specifically designed for the size, weight, and the actual work that they’re doing as opposed to boxes that were made for some other need,” Sutton says.
The bottom line for the Mid-South Food Bank is the ability to help more people.
“There are 423,000 people throughout the mid-south that on any given day don’t get enough to eat,” says Mayhue-Greer. “We’re only serving half of those. Long term, our goal is to meet the needs of all and this will allow us to do that.”