The Power of Rice

One of the best parts of working at Vanguard is our fervent passion to give back to the communities where we live and work. But for one very special event, it was a community across the globe that needed our support – the children of the Philippines. Recently, crew members from Human Resources and the Vanguard Black Professional Network (VBPN) partnered together for a volunteer event for Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit that provides malnourished children with nutritionally complete meals.

Giving back and having fun

Over 41 crew members arrived to pack boxes of MannaPack Rice – a product that provides a single nutritious meal for children all over the world. In the spirit of friendly competition, the entire group moved as fast as possible to pack the food. Laughter and joy filled the room as crew shouted out the next cheer “table 7, box 10!”– both to alert volunteer movers where to pick up the next box and so the entire room would know who was taking the lead in packing the meals. Cups of rice, veggies, and soy whizzed down the assembly lines, bags of rice piled high at the end of the tables, and the packers scrambled to keep up with how fast everything moved.

Anthony D. recalls, “The camaraderie and free spirited fun were on full display as crew raced against one another to hold the title (bragging rights) of most meals made.”

As crew worked, you could feel the Vanguard culture in the room – it truly extends past the buildings we work in. The positive atmosphere was contagious, whether it was the vocal encouragement from the team, the networking with crew we don’t get to see often, or the funny chants we yelled to energize each other. Another crew member shared, “This was a nice change of pace, as most events are a little more formal in setting. It was great to be more hands on.”

The final tally

In just a little over an hour, 240 boxes were packed. This means that 51,840 meals were prepared and packed that will feed 142 children for a single year. Vanguard’s volunteers pushed out $11,404.80 of meals for children in need.

Best of all, we’re contributing to the efforts to feed those in poverty-stricken areas and helping these communities heal and rebuild. There’s something about stepping outside your own neighborhood to focus on the needs of others that inspires you to help again and again.

It’s not just about rice

At the end of the day, we had the opportunity to learn about the recipients of our volunteer efforts. We saw a picture of Anna, who at one year old weighed just nine pounds, and had sunken eyes, a distended belly, and swollen cheeks. After seven months on a nutritional program of MannaPack rice, she had gained 36 pounds. The updated photo of this little girl, now healthy and vibrant, is something we will never forget.

She is the reason we give back.

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