In Silicon Valley – home to one of the greatest economic engines in the world – there is a silent tragedy that affects more than 250,000 people every month – and that’s hunger. Hunger doesn’t discriminate. It affects the young and the old, families of every size, shape and background. The challenge, sadly, knows no bounds. Ten thousands miles away – in India – the problem is acute. Here, some students who go to government schools often don’t have enough to eat. Mothers sometimes don’t have enough to feed their children.
A similar story can be told in Brasilia, Bucharest, Boston, and beyond. The faces of hunger are different, but the challenge of making sure that all have enough to eat is just the same.
In every community, in every part of the world, hunger afflicts far too many– 805 million people according to the United Nations. It is the single-most addressable health problem that we face. No scientific breakthroughs are needed to solve hunger. We have the knowledge, tools, and resources at our disposal to solve this problem.
That’s why Cisco has made a major commitment to stopping hunger in our communities. Over the course of 11 years, our annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign has raised $39.9 million dollars for hunger relief, which translates into 159 million meals provided to those who need it most.
Donations from our 2013 campaign alone provided 23 million meals. These meals were provided through 162 agencies worldwide working to end hunger.
This year will be no different. Beginning on October 27, we launched a two and a half month campaign to raise $1.8 million in employee donations for hunger relief, which will be matched by the Cisco Foundation.
Earlier this week, I was privileged to join Cisco employees and executives to sort 27,100 pounds of food at the Second Harvest food bank in Silicon Valley. This food will go to help the 1 in 4 Santa Clara and San Mateo County residents at risk for hunger – roughly 625,000 individuals.
This event is just one part of Cisco’s largest annual giving campaign to help stop global hunger in Silicon Valley and around the world. We’re in the middle of our 12th annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign, involving over 160 food agencies worldwide.
Since we started this effort, we have raised $40 million dollars for hunger relief, which translates into 160 million meals for those who need it most.
And this year, the bar is set high. We’re in the midst of a two-month effort to raise $1.8 million in employee donations for hunger relief, most of which will then be matched by the Cisco Foundation.
At Cisco, giving back is part of our DNA. I’m proud to be a part of this effort to help stop global hunger. And I’d encourage all of my Cisco colleagues to consider making a donation or volunteering at a local food bank during this holiday season.
Together, we can really make a difference.
Cisco execs and employees sorting food for Second Harvest
It's 5:30am on Monday morning (10th June 2013 to be precise). " Wake up it's a beautiful morning" by the Boo Radleys is blasting out of the speakers at the camp site. "I shouldn't be up at this time" is one of the lines of this songs which rings so true to me on this day. It's not a dream although my head wishes it was. I've been awake since around 4am - thanks to the and chirpy wildlife and early sunrise in the north of Scotland where the sun appears at not long after 3am. Yes I'm back on the Deloitte Ride Across Britain ("RAB") again, aiming to cycle 220 miles over 2 days, to help Cisco raise funds for the paralympic athletes via the Paralympics GB charity.
The "RAB", as we call it, is a cycle ride from John O'Groats, in the very north of Scotland, to Lands End, in the very south of England - top to bottom of the United Kingdom, in fact. Cisco supports and encourages us to take part - around 50 of us were taking on typically one or two stages, with a few mad colleagues doing the whole 9 days of 100 mile+ daily cycling! Yes we had "free" days off work, away from my usual work in Cisco Data Center Services around Cisco Domain TenSM- committing to achieve a fundraising target - however it's not quite what most people would call a holiday! And we also had a "Virtual RAB" in our offices to ensure everyone gets an opportunity to help further the fundraising cause.
As the video shows, we cycled through some amazing scenery, connected with new colleagues across Cisco UK & Ireland, and renewed old friendships. Our fund raising is in progress and I'd appreciate any and all donations here!
"You mean you can Facetime us from your camp site", my daughter said incredulously. "From the middle of nowhere?" she continued. "You lot are mad!" OK she was more annoyed that I was taking our WiFi-only iPad away with me as I took some time out of my day job in Cisco Data Center Services, to participate in 2 stages of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain. Prior to the ride, I blogged about this challenge here, discussing the scale of the event and our target to raise money for Paralympic athletes. A nine day, 969 mile cycle over some of the most challenging terrain in Britain, the ‘Deloitte Ride Across Britain’ was an immense physical and mental challenge. From Saturday 8th September until Sunday 16th September (just passed), over 700 riders took part in this epic journey from Land's End to John O’Groats. For the second year in a row, Cisco provided key technical support to the riders, so that they were able to focus fully on this enormous and exciting journey.