To the editor:
great interest your April 24 column "Attacking Hunger's Cause." I could not agree with you more in your assessment of the excellent work that has been done by the Food Industry Crusade Against Hunger over the years. FICAH has helped to galvanize the food industry in a unique way to attack the complex hunger problem. Indeed, through the FICAH effort, we have seen the tremendous talent and volunteerism of the food industry.
I would hasten to point out that the food industry's fight against hunger has significant commitments beyond FICAH as well. For a number of years, Grocery Manufacturers of America has worked actively with Second Harvest, the nation's foodbank system. We have a foodbank committee that continually encourages and promotes manufacturer contributions of grocery products to Second Harvest. Last year alone, grocery manufacturers contributed in excess of 260 million pounds of products, and this is a very conservative estimate. Additionally, we provide quality control technicians to assist in developing standards for food bank operations.
Tbere are other food industry efforts with respect to the hunger issue, such as the GMA/Food Marketing Institute support of the Food Research and Action Center. As a matter of fact, we are helping to co-sponsor a major fundraising event here in Washington next month featuring a number of members of Congress as well as a presentation by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. GMA is also sponsoring a fundraising event for the Congressional Hunger Center.
Indeed, I suspect the totality of the grocery industry support for anti-hunger efforts is generally unknown. In this day when there is much discussion of what government can do to help people, it is refreshing to see how industry is playing such a key role in helping to alleviate hunger in America and throughout the world.