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Hitachi Employees Collect Over 26,000 Pounds of Food and $58,968 in Fight against Hunger During 10th Annual Food Drive

Washington, D.C. and Tarrytown, N.Y. (August 25, 2009) – Sometimes, kissing an iguana is a good way to help fight hunger in the United States and Canada. The same is true for playing “fantasy” baseball. These are just a few of the many creative ways that Hitachi Group Companies across the United States and Canada raised awareness about hunger and collected 26,855 pounds of food and $58,968 that was donated to local food banks.

The summer months can be especially difficult for families facing hunger due to free and reduced-fee school lunches not being available, making the 10th annual Hitachi North American Food Drive all the more important. And that’s why, at Hitachi Consulting Corporation’s office in Southern California, the executive that raised the most money from his group had the privilege of kissing an iguana. At Hitachi America, Ltd. headquartered in Tarrytown, NY, employees were divided into four “fantasy” baseball teams, where they battled it out to raise the most food over the course of the month.

55 individual Hitachi company locations across the United States and Canada took part in this year’s drive.

"The drive provides Hitachi and its employees with the opportunity to address a critical global issue in a very local and meaningful way," said Tadahiko Ishigaki, Chief Executive for the Americas, Hitachi, Ltd. "Given the fact that so many people are facing economic hardship, our employees were more determined than ever to make the drive a success and they have accomplished this objective."

"As a company we believe in fostering and promoting corporate citizenship in the many communities where our employees live and work. Our annual Food Drive is one of the many programs Hitachi Group Companies support during the year. The effort underscores our commitment to help improve our society through local community outreach."

"In the United States, 35.5 million people go hungry each year, including 12.6 million children," added Barbara Dyer, president and CEO of The Hitachi Foundation. "In Canada, 2.7 million are considered at risk for hunger. This Food Drive makes a meaningful difference, both in the food that is collected for local communities and the awareness raised among our family of employees that hunger exists in every community."

This difference is, indeed, very real, as this report from one local nonprofit organization attests: "Hitachi brought their food drive donations yesterday, and because of their donation, we were able to help a man we otherwise would not have been able to," said Rebecca Craig, Case Management Director for the Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency. "The man had recently had a stroke. He could barely talk and barely walk. Due to his condition, he was on a specific diet – in particular, foods that were easily chewed or swallowed. Normally, this is something we cannot accommodate. However, due to Hitachi’s donation yesterday, we had many of the foods he needed, and we were able to give him an abundance of items for him to take home."

The annual food drive is a joint initiative between the Hitachi Group companies across North America and The Hitachi Foundation. It was inspired by the Hitachi Community Action Partnership (HCAP), Hitachi’s comprehensive program for employee community engagement.