SAPUTO EMPLOYEES COOK UP OVER 7,000 MEALS FOR FAMILIES IN NEED
As a global leader in dairy processing, we have a responsibility to demonstrate good corporate citizenship in everything we do which extends beyond our organization and into the communities in which we operate. It’s the reason we look for opportunities to partner with local organizations that help feed those in need, while also encouraging our employees to become actively engaged in our communities. For us, a brighter future, is a healthier future – for our people and for our communities.
Every month, 137,000 people in Montreal are in need of food donations. So, on December 7th, 2017, we launched the first ever edition of our new community engagement program: The Big Cook Up. With the help of over 300 passionate Saputo employees from the Greater Montreal area who volunteered their time (984 hours to be exact), we cooked up an event to ensure families in need of a little extra help received a delicious, hearty and healthy meal.
By transforming cafeterias in three of our offices (Saint-Léonard, Crémazie, and Saint-Laurent) into community kitchens, we were able to successfully prepare over 850 lasagnas (or 7,000 meals) for families in need, with over $8,000 in Saputo product donations.
The event was made possible with the help of our long-time partner and not-for-profit organization, La Tablée des Chefs, whose expert chefs created the healthy lasagna recipes inspired by our Italian heritage, and who guided our employees through the culinary experience ensuring everything went smoothly and ended up tasting delicious. Together, we carefully prepared and delivered vegetarian and meat lasagnas to 6 organizations within Québec: MultiCaf, Centre de Ressources et D’Action, Communautaire Petite-Patrie, Mouvement Fraternité Multi-Ethnique, La Corbeille Bordeaux, Centre communautaire CEFEDI and Sésame who distributed them to people in need across the city.
Not only was the experience a resounding success based on the quantity of meals prepared and delivered across these 6 organizations, but it also left a lasting impression on our employees who, following the event, expressed an increased sense of pride in working at Saputo and desire to participate in future volunteer opportunities. And so, given the success of the first event, we plan to grow the program both in size and scope in 2018 by holding a Big Cook Up at other Saputo locations both in Canada and the US.
We are energized by supporting the creation of a future where all members of our community have the opportunity to live a healthy, active lifestyle and know that our culture, values, people and product, make up the right ingredients to serve up a lasting impact in our communities.
Giving back tastes good at Saputo!
Giving back to the communities that have helped us flourish is part of the Saputo Promise, and we are committed to supporting local organizations that get people moving. One such opportunity began when our COON cheese brand partnered with Swimming Australia in support of the Junior Dolphins program, which introduces children to the sport, and encourages them to join their local swimming club.
In addition to providing a donation to the organization, in 2016, we launched the COON Toastie Truck to help raise funds for a grassroots Junior Dolphins initiative. With the help of Saputo employees who volunteered their time, we travelled to communities across Australia (including South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland) selling toasties at various events ranging from swimming events, to state and national championships, to festivals and more. With every sale of a COON Toastie, we donated $1 to the Junior Dolphins Program.
In its first year, our COON Toastie Truck raised an additional $20,000 for the Junior Dolphins program. Given the success of the program, we doubled our efforts during the second year. In doing so, we succeeded in raising over $40,000 in 2017.
Since then we have seen continuous growth of the COON Toastie Truck concept, and in 2018, we expanded it into a broader Community Truck Program. Our goals include loftier donation targets by increasing our fleet of trucks (one in each state) and activating events 50 weeks each year. We will continue to work with Swimming Australia, and moreover, the broader program will allow us to support further-reaching community-based projects and groups.
At Saputo, promoting a healthy lifestyle is not only about offering nutritious products, but also about supporting local organizations that encourage people to be active, much like Swimming Australia and other local grassroots organizations. By providing resources for their youth programming, we continue to live up to our commitment to building healthier communities.