CASE STUDY: Hillshire Brands and Feeding America
When Hillshire Brands emerged as a new organization, it sought to strategically align its corporate contributions to the communities where employees live and work through volunteerism, financial contributions, product donations, and strategic partnerships.
Hillshire wanted to create deep and lasting partnerships in its communities.
As part of this strategy, Hillshire deepened its relationship with its partner Feeding America. Feeding America is the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief nonprofit. Feeding America’s network feeds over 37 million individuals each year. Annually, Hillshire donates over 2.8 million pounds of food to the people who need it most through this organization. Hillshire participates in Feeding America affiliated food banks’ hunger walks and meal packing programs, and makes financial contributions to Feeding America and its member food banks through the Hillshire Brands Foundation.
Hillshire wanted to expand its impact. Its employees work together every day toward a common purpose: Fulfilling the Hunger for a Life Well Fed. What would happen if Hillshire could use employees’ professional expertise to make an impact for the Feeding America network?
Hillshire invited Taproot Foundation, in partnership with Feeding America, to design a pro bono program that would allow Hillshire employees to use their skills to help Feeding America and member food banks near Hillshire facilities strengthen their organizations. Food banks, like other nonprofits, often have difficulty accessing professional expertise to support their work in the community.
Taproot worked with Feeding America to survey member organizations to understand the needs of food banks. In addition to support in finance, marketing, and human resources, Taproot also discovered that the network needed support in supply chain management and food safety skills which Hillshire had in abundance. Additionally, Taproot worked with Hillshire employees to understand business objectives that the pro bono engagement must help further and the realities of the constraints of the business.