ORLANDO, Fla. — Food Marketing Institute today announced “an enhanced program of collaboration” with the hunger-relief organization Feeding America and also urged the industry to make needy shoppers aware of government food assistance benefits.
In an address at FMI’s Midwinter Executive Conference here, Leslie Sarasin the organization’s president and CEO, challenged the membership to “continue to stand together and commit today to further help end hunger in America. I ask that you and your companies work in partnership with food banks to increase the amount of food and funds donated by our industry.”
FMI distributed “action cards” with details on how members can join these efforts. The cards ask attendees to provide their name and contact information to commit their support.
Sarasin pointed to government estimates that up to 16 million people who aren’t getting SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits may qualify.
“I ask you to join in a collective effort to connect customers through our retail channels with SNAP benefits, provided through America’s food stamp program,” she said.
Sarasin said FMI is also accelerating its focus on initiatives around health and wellness and sustainability. The health emphasis included the creation of a CEO health and wellness task force and an executive-level, multi-disciplinary advisory council. In May FMI will co-locate a new health and wellness conference at its FMI 2010 event. On the sustainability front, FMI will collaborate with Grocery Manufacturers Association on its first Joint Industry Sustainability Summit in October.
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