The morning was gloomy, but the Nestlé team – a sea of blue in matching t-shirts – was anything but.
On the heels of the grand opening of its new US headquarters in Arlington earlier in the week, the group volunteering at the Capital Area Food Bank was all smiles. They were all hustle, too. In just under a few hours, the team of around 90 people had packed over 7,500 bags of groceries for people throughout the Washington metro area who are food insecure.
They had also tended to the soil in large swaths of the food bank’s Urban Demonstration garden.
And this came after the team had, not long before at their own offices, packed 1,000 bags of weekend food for kids and families.
When kicking off Nestlé Cares day earlier that morning, CEO and Market Head of Nestlé USA Steve Presley spoke about the importance of service, and it’s a value that employees clearly share.
“Being with a company that gives not only money but man hours is really important to me,” said Ben Schuh, with the company’s beverage division. “Nestlé is putting both its money and its people where its mouth is.”
Monica Stachowski, who works in procurement, agrees, and observed that getting into the community was proving to be a great way to connect with co-workers. “I know this will help us get to know each other, put faces to names, and build that spirit that we all have,” she said. “Today’s been absolutely fantastic – you can tell that a lot of love is going to families in need today.”
If Nestlé employees are passionate about volunteerism, they might be even more passionate about the transformative power of a meal.
Delphine Cordie, who works on the beverage marketing team, shared not only her enthusiasm about the event (“We’re focused on making an impact everywhere, and I love that philosophy!”), but also about the broader importance of having enough to eat. “Eating engages all of you – there’s no other experience like it,” she said, while recounting fond memories of meals with her grandmother. “Food unlocks performance. If you have dreams – and everyone does – then you need food.”
Ben Schuh shared a similar sentiment. “Pretty much all of the happiest moments in your life have food in them, or are celebrated with food. Giving that feeling to other people is amazing. If we can give even a little of that joy today, it’s worth it.”
With people this fired up about food and helping others, it’s no wonder that they made big things happen in such a short period of time. And with continued partnership between the region’s largest hunger relief organization and one of the world’s largest food companies, there’s no telling what’s possible.