When you live in a high-tech corridor, like Silicon Valley or Tysons Corner, it’s sometimes hard to imagine that not everyone is so fortunate. But just out of view of the fast-paced life there are many who are in need. One of the greatest areas of need in all communities is alleviating food shortages by supporting families during emergencies and also to help the growing numbers of working poor who are unable to make ends meet, despite being employed.
NetApp has always maintained a strong commitment to volunteerism, but has boosted their commitment to the communities where employees live and work as part of the company’s 25th anniversary year. This summer, volunteer efforts have been focused on a program called Food for All. The program is helping to ensure that food banks are stocked this summer. Each office has chosen their own particular take on the Food for All program. At NetApp’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA, employees are assembling family grocery packages for Sunnyvale Community Services. In Worcester, MA, a team of NetApp volunteers has strengthened their commitment to volunteering with the Worcester County Food Bank, which serves more than 60 cities and towns across the county.
The NetApp team in Vienna, Virginia decided to volunteer with Food for Others in Fairfax, VA, an organization that provides a safety net for the more than 90,000 people who would otherwise go hungry each day in the National Capital Region. “Food for Others collects donations from many sources, including grocery stores and food drives, and distributes it to those in need through a warehouse distribution, a neighborhood distribution program, and via community partners,” said Shelie Brooks, Field Marketing Manager – Federal, at NetApp.
Over a period of 6 weeks in June and July the Vienna team volunteered at the Food for Others warehouse, but the giving doesn’t stop there. For the first 8 hours they volunteered, employees will be awarded $100 to donate to their charity of their choice. After the first 3 volunteer sessions in June, employees had raised over $900, which the team is, in turn, donating to Food for Others.
Interns, Logan Carrington and Becky Chominski joined their colleagues at the Food for Others volunteer days in July and found the experience to be rewarding and humbling. Carrington, a rising senior at the University of Virginia shared that “the Food for All campaign put a lot of things into perspective, and showed me how giving back really can make a positive impact on everyday lives. I am in the process of starting my own nonprofits and organizations to help those in need at and around the University of Virginia this upcoming school year, and I hope that I can make as big of an impact as Food for All did for me.”
To date, across all the programs NetApp volunteers have packaged over 500,000 meals and employees have contributed over 5,000 volunteer hours, well on the way to their goal of completing 25,000 hours of service by the end of NetApp’s 25th anniversary year.