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Cisco Recognized for Raising 55 Million Pounds of Food for Local Charity

Last night I was proud to join other Cisco staff and executives in accepting four “Making Hunger History” awards from the Second Harvest Food Bank near our San Jose headquarters.

Cisco has supported Second Harvest for more than 20 years, and in that time we have raised the equivalent of 55 million pounds of food for the organization!

Our employees volunteer there and make donations through our annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign, and we’ve provided several product and cash grants over the years, most recently to help the organization’s clients better utilize the CalFresh food stamp program (read my earlier blog on CalFresh). In 2012 Cisco employees contributed more than 4900 volunteer hours to Second Harvest.

Cisco received 4 "Making Hunger History" awards from the Second Harvest Food Bank on September 10. On hand to receive them were (l-r): Jessica Graham,  community relations manager; Randy Pond, senior vice president of operations; Curt Hill, VP of technical support; Rebecca Jacoby, chief information officer and a Second Harvest board member; and Ricardo Benavidez, senior community relations manager.

Cisco received 4 “Making Hunger History” awards from the Second Harvest Food Bank on September 10. On hand to receive them were (l-r): Jessica Graham, community relations manager; Randy Pond, senior vice president of operations; Curt Hill, VP of technical support; Rebecca Jacoby, chief information officer and a Second Harvest board member; and Ricardo Benavidez, senior community relations manager.

Second Harvest does important work. One in 10 residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties receives food from Second Harvest, and 40% of them are children. According to the 2014 Hunger in America report, clients receive assistance from Second Harvest Food Bank an average of 13 times per year, compared to the national average of 8 times. This could be a reflection of the high cost of living in California’s Bay Area.

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Multiplying the Impact of Food and Housing Relief

When you have a regular paycheck, a roof over your head, your health, and a fully stocked refrigerator, it’s easy to focus on other activities of daily living.

But when you lack one or all of these things, your focus is on surviving.

I know all this from first-hand experience. As a child, I helped my mom, who doesn’t speak English, apply for public assistance in times of great family need. I had to research and complete, on behalf of my parents, food, health, and unemployment forms and job applications, translating them from English to Spanish and vice versa. We used buses to go from one agency to the next, and sometimes going back and forth to the same organization. There was no one to point us the right way or direct us around pitfalls, as we worked toward stabilizing our day-to-day lives, and eventual self-sufficiency and economic independence.

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Annual Employee Giving Campaign Generates Nearly $6 Million for Global Hunger Relief

Christina O’Neill is a manager with Cisco Community Relations based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, who oversaw Cisco’s 2013 record-breaking Global Hunger Relief Campaign.

 “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

In its 11th year, Cisco’s 2013 Global Hunger Relief Campaign proved more than ever that our desire to do the right thing goes beyond the confines of our traditional work responsibilities. Cisco’s annual campaign ran from November 4th through December 31st, and our results were record breaking!

Cisco employees directly donated $2.3 million in the fight against hunger around the world.  All employee contributions were matched twice – once by the Cisco Foundation and once by Chairman Emeritus John Morgridge’s TOSA Foundation – tripling the impact of every gift and bringing total donations to $5.8 million, distributed through 162 hunger relief organizations around the world.  The impact of the dollars raised translates to 23 million meals served! As part of the campaign, we were able to partner with Cisco’s disaster relief efforts after tragedy struck the Philippines at the beginning of November, sending food relief via our campaign to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

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Cisco Employees Build Awareness about Hunger…Literally

Every year, during Cisco’s Global Hunger Relief Campaign, employee teams across our campuses design and construct “cansculptures” —  pieces of art made entirely out of canned goods (which are later donated to a local food bank), to raise awareness about hunger and our annual giving back initiative.

This year, Cisco employees in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina, and at the Kanata R&D site in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, created cansculptures, while a chalkboard artist in Boxborough, Massachusetts created a Global Hunger Relief chalk wall in the cafe.

The Lawrenceville choo-choo train delivers a coal car of food for the hungry.

The Lawrenceville choo-choo train delivers a coal car of food for the hungry.

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Feeding the Children: Cisco’s Global Hunger Relief Campaign in India

December 17, 2013 at 9:00 am PST

Rohini KamathThis post was written by Rohini Kamath, who works for Cisco’s Community Relations team in Bangalore, India, helping employees give back to society.

As we inch closer to the final week of Cisco’s signature fundraising campaign, the Global Hunger Relief Campaign, we look back and feel proud about the 150,000 children we have fed over the last 6 years through our exclusive nongovernmental organization (NGO) partner Akshaya Patra Foundation.

Akshaya Patra, one of the largest mid-day meal programs in the world, serves meals across 10,000 schools in India. The Global Hunger Relief Campaign this year aims to fundraise to benefit 40,000 children for an entire year. To add momentum to the effort, the Cisco HR team in India organized a marathon in support of the campaign. With the mission of “achieving miles for smiles,” over 300 employees participated.

Food packages that Cisco employees put together are delivered to students at a government-run school.

Food packages that Cisco employees put together are delivered to students at a government-run school

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