Philip Morris's hunger philanthropy tops $100 million; Contributions Benefit Families, Senior Citizens, People With AIDS Native Americans, and Others This Thanksgiving and Year-Round.
The announcement was made during a national telethon to raise money to feed the hungry at Thanksgiving and throughout the year.
According to Steven C. Parrish, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs, the contributions from the Philip Morris family of companies include more than $25 million in direct grants to hunger and nutrition programs and more than $75 million in contributions of packaged foods to Second Harvest, the nation's largest hunger relief organization.
At the telethon hosted by the Television Food Network, Parrish presented a new $50,000 contribution to Citymeals-on-Wheels of New York City. He noted that the donation was inspired by a visit to that organization earlier this year by Geoffrey C. Bible, chairman and CEO of Philip Morris Companies Inc.
"With other volunteers from Philip Morris, Bible helped prepare and deliver meals to homebound elderly served by Citymeals-on-Wheels," Parrish explained. "In the course of the day, Bible discovered that more than 1,200 other seniors, unable to shop or cook for themselves, had been on a waiting list for over a year to receive emergency food supplies. The $50,000 contribution we are making tonight will help ensure that those vulnerable senior citizens will receive much needed non-perishable supplies such as cereal and coffee."
As North America's largest retail packaged food company, the Philip Morris family of companies has been addressing the plight of the hungry and malnourished since 1990. Through its hunger and nutrition focused giving program, the company supports groundbreaking research in hunger, as well as efforts that provide direct services to individuals in need. Its national Helping the Helpers initiative supports a wide range of organizations that combat hunger, address the food security needs of seniors, people living with AIDS and Native Americans, and help people become more self-sufficient by providing services such as housing assistance, job training, and counseling. Through Kraft Food's Food for Thought initiative, the company supports programs that address childhood hunger and the link between good nutrition and the ability to learn.
At this holiday season and throughout the year, Philip Morris's support for other hunger and nutrition initiatives is:
o Helping homebound senior citizens in Chicago "shop at home" via a computerized shopping assistance service linked to local grocery stores. This innovative program is funded by Philip Morris' Senior Helpings campaign, in partnership with the National Meals on Wheels Foundation.
o Seeking new ways to treat malnutrition and wasting among people with AIDS. This national research initiative is being undertaken by the American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR) with the support of a $150,000 grant from Philip Morris.
o Providing fresh fruits and vegetables to needy New Yorkers through the Food for Survival Food Bank as part of a Helping the Helpers grant.
o Reintroducing traditional Native American foods, such as hominy corn, maple syrup and wild rice to tribal members' diets at a reservation in White Earth, Minnesota. This program is supported by a $300,000 Philip Morris grant to the Eagle Staff Fund of First Nations Development Institute of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
o Enabling Milwaukee's Hunger Task Force to provide emergency food services to individuals and families throughout southeastern Wisconsin, as part of "Fighting Hunger in Wisconsin," a $100,000 initiative of Philip Morris Companies Inc.
o Allowing people who receive Food Stamps to use them as payment at One City Cafe where the poor and homeless sit down to healthy meals in an attractive restaurant with fellow New Yorkers. Philip Morris is a corporate supporter of One City Cafe.
o Supporting the efforts of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) of Washington D.C., in its Campaign to End Childhood Hunger. Since 1990 Kraft Foods has been the major corporate supporter of this campaign.
Philip Morris Companies Inc. has five principal operating companies: Kraft Foods, Inc.; Miller Brewing Company; Philip Morris U.S.A.; Philip Morris International Inc.; and Philip Morris Capital Corporation.
CONTACT: Philip Morris Companies Inc.
K. Richmond Temple, 212/878-2755
M Booth & Associates
Jane Cabot/Ken Ulmer, 212/481-7000