September 13, 2008

Mercedes-Benz USA Employees Take Action Against Hunger

MONTVALE, N.J., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) employees are filling three new SUV models with nonperishable food items for those in need. The food drive, which benefits Action Against Hunger, a community service program administered locally by North Jersey Media Group, is underway today at the company's Fall Fest employee picnic held at the Platzl Brauhaus in Pomona, New York. Items such as rice, pasta, cereal, macaroni and cheese, canned soups and vegetables, as well as paper goods, baby formula, and diapers are being collected and will be donated to the Center for Food Action in New Jersey (CFA), one of the food pantries served by Action Against Hunger. The donations will help feed children, the elderly, and the low-income working poor in Bergen County.

"Despite tough economic times recently, we have been able to maintain a leadership position in our industry this year which reflects the power of the team here at MBUSA," said Ernst Lieb, MBUSA President and CEO. "Seeing our employees volunteer to overstuff these SUVs with food donations during our annual employee picnic is just another example of what is possible when they put the same sort of passion and drive for our brand behind benefiting the community."

"Within the past year, we are seeing many more families in need of support," said Irwin Vogelman, Director of Food Resources and Systems, Center for Food Action in New Jersey. "Many families are fighting a losing battle each month trying to stretch their paychecks to buy food. The wages of the working poor have not kept up with rent and utility increases or rising gas and food prices. That's why it's so important for companies in our area, like Mercedes-Benz, to reach out and lend a hand."

This Action Against Hunger(TM) program, sponsored by the North Jersey Media Group Foundation, helps emergency food pantries in Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Morris counties provide food to people and families in urgent need. CFA estimates that each year it provides 40,000 emergency food packages to neighbors who are struggling to put food on their tables. According to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), there are more than 250,000 people living below the federal poverty level in Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Morris counties.

The Center for Food Action in New Jersey (CFA), which aims to prevent hunger and homelessness and improve the lives of individuals and families living in poverty, is the direct recipient organization of MBUSA's food drive. CFA provides emergency food packages, rental and utility assistance, counseling, advocacy and other essential services to those in need living in northern New Jersey.

Mercedes-Benz USA

Mercedes-Benz USA, headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, believes that a premier company must lead by example. With a reputation for innovation and leadership -- qualities that are mirrored among Mercedes-Benz owners, dealers and employees alike -- comes an opportunity to give back to the community. Mercedes-Benz USA's philanthropic efforts involve direct funding by MBUSA augmented by donations from dealers, employees and the public. Through these combined efforts, MBUSA supports causes that cover a broad spectrum of need. MBUSA invests in the communities in which employees live and work through the corporate headquarters in Bergen County, N.J. and through regional offices around the country. Support is given through corporate contributions, community relations and volunteer efforts, women's initiatives, diversity support, matching gifts, cause-related marketing regional and dealer activities, and international cooperation.

Action Against Hunger

Action Against Hunger is administered locally by North Jersey Media Group: The Record, Herald News, (201) and Community Newspapers and Magazines of North Jersey Media Group. This program runs the largest one-day food drive in the metropolitan area and has helped feed those in need in North Jersey since 1991.

Action Against Hunger is part of a worldwide international network that has been assisting more than 40 countries in emergency situations such as war, conflict, and natural disasters for nearly three decades. The organization focuses on eliminating hunger using their expertise in nutrition, food security, water and sanitation, health and advocacy to create long-term solutions from short-term interventions.

Mercedes-Benz USA

CONTACT: Donna Boland, +1-201-573-6893, or Tracy Darchini,+1-201-573-4734, both of Mercedes-Benz USA, Toll-free, +1-888-MBNEWS-1

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