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Blog / Embracing Corporate Social Responsibility

Embracing Corporate Social Responsibility

By Amber Wright, Development and Marketing Coordinator 

 

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a business approach where companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their operations and interactions with stakeholders. It goes beyond just making profits or meeting metrics; CSR encourages businesses to consider how their actions impact society and the environment.

 

As a non-profit, The Foodbank’s work is rooted in addressing social needs. Our mission of eliminating hunger and its root causes is a direct response to the food insecurity present in every ZIP code in our tri-county service area. Already, we are focused on making social and economic change. But the way we go about accomplishing this goal matters.

Our impact reaches farther than the 16 million pounds of food we distribute each year. We still have an environmental footprint to consider, responsibility for the well-being of our employees, and an ethical duty to be a good neighbor in the communities where we live and operate. In this blog, we will look at how our organizational practices strive to do just that.

Let’s start with our innovative approach to sustainability. Our on-site industrial composting system plays a crucial role in reducing food waste and greenhouse gas emissions. Instead of sending unused food to landfills, where it would create greenhouse gas emissions, we turn it into nutrient-rich compost. This compost helps nourish our onsite greenhouse and urban garden, where we grow fresh produce year-round. By doing so, we not only minimize waste but also cut down on transportation costs and pollution associated with importing produce from distant farms.

In our hydroponic system, we use less water than traditional farming methods, further minimizing our environmental footprint. We also package the lettuce we grow in compostable bags, ensuring that even our distribution methods align with our commitment to sustainability.

But CSR goes beyond environmental efforts—it’s also about people.

At The Foodbank, Inc., we prioritize paying fair wages and providing full benefits to our employees. We believe that investing in our team’s well-being creates a positive work environment and ensures our team can support themselves and their families. Our comprehensive benefits package includes healthcare, a 401k match, life insurance, dental and vision coverage, family gym passes, financial literacy classes, free yoga classes, clothing stipends, allotments for steel-toe boots, educational stipends, and support accessing any unmet needs.

A significant portion of our workforce has been previously involved in the justice system, comprising 42% of our team. We are proud to employ people reentering the workforce, providing not only full benefits and a livable wage, but also several additional supports like an onsite social worker, training opportunities, sober work functions, and more.

Through partnerships with organizations like the Dayton Equity Center, we even offer training opportunities such as forklift certification to community members, empowering people outside of our staff with valuable skills for employment.

Accessibility is another cornerstone of our CSR initiatives. We go beyond food distribution to ensure people in underserved communities have other basic needs met. Certified Community Health Workers on our staff assist individuals in navigating and accessing essential services beyond food. Our SNAP Outreach Coordinator goes into the Dayton Correctional Institution to enroll individuals in SNAP before their release, providing crucial support during a critical transition period.

Advocacy is also integral to our mission. We actively engage in advocacy work and petition for policies that reduce poverty and hunger, advocating for systemic change that benefits our community at large.

Our long-term goal is to inspire and educate others to adopt similar practices. By sharing our successes and challenges, we hope to encourage more organizations and individuals to embrace CSR principles and contribute to a sustainable and equitable future.

At The Foodbank, Inc., CSR isn’t just a box to check—it’s a fundamental part of who we are and how we operate. By embracing these initiatives, we not only fulfill our mission to fight hunger but also contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future for everyone. Together with our community partners, volunteers, and supporters, we’re making a real difference, one meal at a time.

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