Sodexo, Hirai Farms, Annie’s Fun, Gonzaga and McCain Foods Partner to Provide Food for Holiday Meals

November 20, 2009

SPOKANE, Wash., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ — As the economy challenges more households who are struggling to put food on the table, Hirai Farms, Annie’s Fun, Sodexo, Gonzaga University and McCain Foods teamed up on November 16th to help Second Harvest provide food for holiday meals.

At a special event on Monday, November 16th at the McCarthey Athletic Center parking lot at Gonzaga University, Sodexo, Hirai Farms, Annie’s Fun, Gonzaga and McCain Foods partnered to make a substantial donation to Second Harvest.

Specifically, Hirai Farms, Annie’s Fun and McCain Foods donated two semi-truckloads of fresh potatoes, which will be included in the holiday meals collected by Second Harvest and distributed to people in need in Spokane in time for Thanksgiving. The Sodexo Foundation presented a check for $2,500 and donated approximately 6,600 pounds of various food items to Second Harvest collected from Gonzaga University students, staff, faculty, and Sodexo employees to help meet the increased need for food during the winter months.

Over thirty people attended the November 16th donation presentation, including Jason Clark (Executive Director of Second Harvest), Dr. Thayne McCulloh (President of Gonzaga University), Sen. Chris Marr (D-Spokane), Rep. Timm Ormsby (D-Spokane), Rep. Shelly Short (R-Republic/Colville), Erin Vincent (Eastern Washington Director for US Senator Patty Murray), Blaine Hirai (CEO of Hirai Farms and Chair of Annie’s Fun), Kerwin Higashi (Sodexo), Pam Smith (Sodexo), Ray Cooper (McCain Foods) and Nelsen Bean (McCain Foods).

“We are very grateful for Sodexo, Hirai Farms, Annie’s Fun, Gonzaga and McCain Foods’ generous donations that will be a part of thousands of Thanksgiving meals for local families in need,” Jason Clark said. “These donations mean so much at a time when we have seen a dramatic increase in those seeking assistance.”

“Given the huge demands that have been put on food banks during these uncertain economic times, Hirai Farms and Annie’s Fun are very excited to work with Sodexo and McCain Foods to make these important donations to Second Harvest to help those in need during the holiday season,” said Blaine Hirai.

“Through its ‘STOP Hunger’ initiative, Sodexo has a long history of helping people who face hunger,” explained Kerwin Higashi, Senior Vice President of Sodexo’s NW Metropolitan Business Group. “Sodexo is happy to have an opportunity to team up with partners (i.e., Second Harvest, Annie’s Fun, Gonzaga, Hirai Farms and McCain Foods) to help make these significant donations to Second Harvest during the critical late fall and winter period.”

For more information about the November 16th food donations, contact Rod Wieber, Director of Donor and Community Relations of Second Harvest, at (509) 252-6259.

About Second Harvest Inland Northwest

Founded in 1971 as a central warehouse for 13 emergency food pantries in Spokane, Second Harvest is the pioneering organization that leads the fight against hunger in the Inland Northwest. Today, partnerships with 275 neighborhood food banks and meal centers make it possible for Second Harvest to provide food to more than 48,000 hungry people each week. Second Harvest distributes more than one million pounds of donated food each month throughout its vast service area.

About Hirai Farms / Annie’s Fun

Hirai Farms has been a family-owned and -operated business in the Columbia Basin of Washington State since 1954. Blaine Hirai and the Hirai family maintain a strong tradition of giving back to local communities in the Pacific Northwest. In 2005, the Hirai family created “Annie’s Fun,” a non-profit, charitable 501(c)(3) organization, named after Blaine’s mother, to help those in need. In the past year, Blaine Hirai and Annie’s Fun (http://www.AnniesFun.org) have donated nearly 1 million pounds of potatoes, onions and corn to several food banks in Washington State.

About Sodexo

Sodexo is a leading Food and Facilities Management services company. Sodexo has an ongoing commitment to help people who face hunger and malnutrition in the communities it serves. The company’s various programs are coordinated under its “STOP Hunger” (http://www.sodexofoundation.org/) initiative, which now operates in 25 countries. With the global problem of hunger and malnutrition now afflicting more than a billion people, Sodexo and its 355,000 employees across the globe are making a strong commitment to help donate food, serve meals and raise money for needy people in local communities.

About Gonzaga University

Founded 123 years ago, Gonzaga has built a foundation based upon the Jesuit ideal of serving others, and cura personalis, or care for the individual.

About McCain Foods USA

McCain Foods USA, Inc., the United States subsidiary of McCain Foods Limited, has four major potato processing facilities and seven other manufacturing operations in eight states. McCain Foods Limited is a privately owned Canadian multinational manufacturer of frozen and non-frozen food products with more than 55 plant operations on six continents.

This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE Second Harvest; Annie’s Fun

Source: newswire

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