What does a race car, a golf tournament, the Starlight Parade, The Waterfront Blues Festival, competitive food drives and 628 volunteer hours have in common? They are all ways in which Schnitzer Steel has supported Oregon Food Bank through Racing to Stop Hunger, its national charitable campaign.
The inspiration for the program came from Schnitzer employees who were looking for a way to end hunger in the communities where they live and work and has been extraordinarily effective in mobilizing communities to support the fight against hunger.
In the last fiscal year, Schnitzer, its employees and customers and the Racing to Stop Hunger Foundation have raised nearly $140,000 for Oregon Food Bank – enough funding to provide the equivalent of 725,000 meals for hungry people in our community. And that’s just the support that came directly to Oregon Food Bank! Since Racing to Stop Hunger is a national effort, Schnitzer has partnered with local food banks in each area where it operates, including OFB, several regional food banks in the OFB Network and other food banks nationwide.
Schnitzer began working with Oregon Food Bank in July 2010 with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at the Portland International Raceway. To raise funds for OFB and awareness of hunger, Schnitzer entered the race with a Racing to Stop Hunger car driven by a Schnitzer executive.
Through conversations with race attendees, Schnitzer employees and Oregon Food Bank, the company decided to make an even greater commitment to fighting hunger by matching employee efforts in three ways.
1. For every five pounds of donated food, Schnitzer contributes $1 to a local food bank.
2. For every employee volunteer hour, Schnitzer contributes $10.00 in matching funds.
3. Any cash donated to local food banks by Schnitzer employees is matched dollar for dollar.
Once that commitment was made, Schnitzer and its employees began finding creative ways to partner with the Oregon Food Bank Network at every level.
Pick-n-Pull continues to enter the Racing to Stop Hunger car at race events each year. In conjunction, Pick-n-Pull also holds food drives which provided the equivalent of 2,600 emergency food boxes this year.
Schnitzer’s Metal Recycling Business division called a meeting with OFB in September to announce plans for an annual golf tournament benefitting Oregon Food Bank. In just six weeks the employees pulled together an impressive tournament of 144 golfers which raised an additional 3,750 emergency food boxes for the Oregon Food Bank Network.
Besides a race car driver, NASCAR fans, golfers and event planners, Schnitzer Steel also employs a number of musicians and blues aficionados. Schnitzer Steel donated their vintage Mack Truck and a few employee blues musicians to help spread the word about the 2012 Blues Festival from a Starlight Parade float. In addition, Schnitzer sponsors the festival’s Green Team volunteers and provides an impressive team of volunteers to help the festival run smoothly.
While these events are highlights, Schnitzer Steel’s engagement is a dedicated, year-round partnership with OFB. Employees and families volunteer in the evenings at OFB and OFB West every single month. Their projects have included repacking rice, pasta, oranges as well as sorting food drive food. Not only do we reap the rewards of volunteer efforts, Schnitzer supports their employee efforts by matching employee volunteer hours with funding. Food drives also take place at various Schnitzer offices throughout the year and bring out the employees competitive spirit, making the effort fun and rewarding.
In the past year, Schnitzer Steel Industries – led by President and CEO Tamara Lundgren – has increased its engagement with OFB on every level . Oregon Food Bank and the OFB Network are truly grateful. Thank you Schnitzer Steel, and congratulations for being selected as the July Corporate Donor at Oregon Food Bank.