While holidays are known for giving, the New Year presents the biggest challenge to food banks and the families they serve as January donations drop off by more than a third. To help local food banks when they need it most, Western States Cat®, Albertsons and Wells Fargo will launch the sixth Dump Hunger food drive at communities across the Intermountain West. Within this area there are nearly 505,000 people who lack access to enough food, requiring nearly $220 million needed to fulfill this demand. The drive started earlier this month and will conclude on February 10. The goal is to gather 450,000 pounds of food - equal to six Cat 730 truckloads. Caterpillar has regularly recognized the Dump Hunger campaign as the Best Community Event by all Cat dealers in the United States.
"Thanksgiving and Christmas remind us all about the power of giving, but people continue to battle hunger and food security 365 days a year," said Tom Harris, president, Western States Equipment Company. "Our employees started this drive to support our communities at the most critical time possible, which helps bridge the post-holiday drop off in donations at local food banks. Thanks to their leadership and our continued partnership with Albertsons and Wells Fargo, we are proud to kick off another year of Dump Hunger and give back to the communities that support us."
Since 2008, those who have participated in Dump Hunger have helped collect and distribute more than 2,750,000 pounds of food to local Feeding America food banks. The Caterpillar Foundation has invested $1.5 million with Feeding America in 2014.
Food donations to the campaign can be made at any Western States Cat location or participating Albertsons stores. Western States Cat and Wells Fargo locations also accept monetary contributions for the campaign. Donations made to Dump Hunger stay in the local communities, supporting food banks at the most critical time of year. Participating food banks with online donation capabilities are also listed at www.westernstatescat.com/dumphunger.
"Hunger impacts families and seniors throughout every neighborhood and region in Idaho, often regardless of employment status," said Karen Vauk, president and CEO of The Idaho Foodbank. "As the demand for our services remains at record-high levels, the Dump Hunger food drive is vital in bridging the donation gap after the holidays when the need for food is just as great. Both The Idaho Foodbank and our network of partners take pride in helping those in need during challenging financial times until they are able to move forward. Dump Hunger ensures we can continue to provide these services at a critical time of year."
Caterpillar Inc. supports the philanthropic efforts of the Caterpillar Foundation. Founded in 1952, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than $550 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs. To learn more about the global impact of the Caterpillar Foundation, please visit www.caterpillar.com/en/company/caterpillar-foundation.html.