North America RHQ office collects Record Amount of Food for Charity Using Baseball Theme to Sparks Competition
Tarrytown, NY --- On August 12, 2014, the Food Bank for Westchester, the county’s only food bank, sent an empty delivery truck to pick up 6,097 lbs. of food collected by Hitachi America, Ltd. employees in Tarrytown, NY during their annual summer food drive, just completed 4 days ago.
Hitachi employees in Tarrytown, which serves as the Regional Headquarters for Tokyo-based Hitachi, Ltd., collected 1,120 pounds of canned fruits and vegetables, 1,249 pounds of pasta, 1,000 pounds of 100% fruit juice, 388 pounds of soup, 209 jars of peanut butter and other items from the Food Bank’s “most needed” list. With approximately 100 employees participating, the drive total represents in an average of nearly 60 lbs. of food per employee.
Every July, Hitachi Group Companies across the United States and Canada host food drives in their workplaces to benefit local food banks and nonprofit organizations. This is the 15th year the Group has run the food drive. The annual food drive is purposely held during the summer because this is a time when food banks experience increased demand from needy families, due to the absence of school lunch programs which many families rely on during the academic year.
“One of the things I am most proud of with our drive is the emphasis on collecting high quality, nutritious food,” said Cindy Hecht, Assistant Manager, Community Relations, Hitachi America, Ltd. “Our employees are committed to collecting and donating food that the Food Bank needs for it to better serve its clients, and we want to provide quality food that truly feeds families.”
Ellen Lynch, Executive Director for the Food Bank for Westchester said, “We are so appreciative of Hitachi's Annual Food Drive. For the 15th year, local Hitachi America, Ltd. employees have provided the Food Bank for Westchester with high quality food just when we need it most. Pantries are traditionally low on inventory in the summer months, so a food donation at this time is particularly important. Hitachi America, Ltd. employees do a great job of providing the best quality food in excellent condition, they help us load our truck and they often come to our warehouse to help us sort the product as well.”
To get support for the drive internally, Ms. Hecht says, “We capitalized on the fact that we have some serious baseball fans in our office. We divided employees into four major league teams, making sure that we pitted legendary rival teams against each other to drive competition.” Different baseball- themed, mini collection competitions were held throughout the drive to give teams a chance to win Stop & Shop gift cards and keep energy high to meet the established goal of 4,000 pounds of food. In the end, employees surpassed the goal by over 2,000 pounds. “While the Mets may be having an up and down time at Citi Field this year,” Ms. Hecht continues, “the Hitachi Mets finished the food drive with a strong lead over their rivals.”