Kraft's Biggest-Ever Service Week Moves Online to Help Hungry

10,000-Plus Volunteers in 33 Countries Now Turn to Social Media Push

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Having completed its biggest-ever week of volunteerism, Kraft is following up with a social-media effort to get friends and followers involved as well. The company has developed a video about its volunteer push, which will be posted on Oct. 12. Employees are being encouraged to post the video on social networking sites and ask their contacts to pass it on. Kraft will donate money to Feeding America to provide five meals for every time it is downloaded, for up to 100,000 meals by the end of October.

Kraft's Make a Delicious Difference Week, ended Oct. 10, drew more than 10,000 employees in 33 countries into service. The company appointed 150 ambassadors to encourage colleagues to participate, and anticipated it would help about 500,000 disadvantaged people during the week of service. The company pointed to the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which took effect Oct. 1, as part of the inspiration for the project, aimed at fighting hunger, supporting healthy lifestyles and building stronger communities."

In Chicago, Kraft employees sorted food at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. At the Icaro Institute in Brazil, they talked to children about healthy lifestyle habits. Employees in the U.K. delivered food to the FareShare community organization. In China, volunteers educated children in rural schools and orphanages about nutrition. To encourage employees to make monetary contributions during the week of service, the Kraft Foods Foundation matched cash contributions U.S. employee made to nonprofits on a two-to-one basis.

No slouch in giving, Kraft has donated more than 1 billion servings of fresh food to various organizations since 1997. Every year the company also gives approximately $100 million to community organizations in more than 130 countries. But this was Kraft's largest-ever volunteer effort.

Chairman-CEO Irene Rosenfeld was one of the first to sign up for duty in Chicago. "For years we've provided employees with opportunities to give back to their communities," Ms. Rosenfeld said in a statement. "But, given the increased needs, we can all do more. We're doing our part by doubling our U.S. volunteer efforts and taking the spirit of the Serve America Act across U.S. borders to employees from France to Indonesia."

The video to be posted Tuesday will feature footage of Kraft employees and the company's volunteer projects around the globe. It also applauds other volunteer efforts, and delivers a call to action encouraging more people to get involved. In addition to using the social networks of its thousands of employees, Kraft and Feeding America are conducting an online effort to get more people to volunteer. Kraft is posting the video on its Web sites, YouTube channel and Facebook page, and will reach out through Twitter. Feeding America will also conduct outreach through its online channels.

"For more than 25 years, Kraft Foods has been a huge supporter of Feeding America through the donation of food, money and employee time and talents," said Feeding America President Vicki Escarra in a statement. Adding, "Make a Delicious Difference Week will not only help our member food banks across the U.S., it will help fight hunger and build stronger communities nationwide."

In addition to the generosity and compassion demonstrated through this effort, it is yet another public relations coup for Kraft, which is attempting to buy Cadbury. A combined company would have about $50 billion in revenue and be the world's largest confectioner. Kraft is currently the world's second-largest food company by revenue.

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