Franklin, VA –- November 10, 2022 — To reduce food insecurity and address its root causes in the Western Tidewater community, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore opened a new branch in Franklin this past September. And to help kickstart its efforts, International Paper’s Franklin Mill team has generously stocked the shelves at the facility with 13,051 pounds of food.
While the national average collected in a workplace food drive is about four pounds of food per person, the dedicated people who work at the Franklin mill contributed an impressive 41 pounds per employee. Since the mill began the tradition in 2018, they have provided more than 20 tons of food to those facing food insecurity.
Each year, the mill teams compete for the food drive title. “It’s fun to watch the teams work together to bring in canned food on pallets wrapped in tarps so we don’t tip off the other teams with our progress, make team road trips to the commissary to return with truckloads of food, or take our children and grandkids with us to the grocery store, with their own money and a copy of the Foodbank’s wish list. With each experience, there are many moments of compassion and kindness – and that’s what it’s all about,” says Jonathan Craddock, Area Manager, Maintenance.
In addition to 331 boxes of food, IP provided 750 boxes produced by the IP Petersburg Corrugated Box plant, 500 period product kits assembled by Franklin Mill REACH Engineers and a $10,000 IP Foundation grant.
“At IP, we believe that our company cannot succeed if our communities do not succeed. We mobilize our people, products and resources to address critical needs in the communities where our employees live and work.” “Our employees are passionate about supporting critical community needs and we strive to be a force for good in our community.” Jenny Dixon, Franklin Mill Communications Manager
“We are so grateful to International Paper and for the generous spirit of its employees,” says Foodbank President& CEO Christopher Tan. “It’s all about neighbors helping neighbors, and together we can begin to make a big difference in people’s lives.”
About International Paper
International Paper (NYSE:IP) is a leading global supplier of renewable fiber-based products. We produce corrugated packaging products that protect and promote goods, and enable worldwide commerce, and pulp for diapers, tissue and other personal care products that promote health and wellness. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., we employ approximately 38,000 colleagues globally. We serve customers worldwide, with manufacturing operations in North America, Latin America, North Africa and Europe. Net sales for 2021 were $19.4 billion. Additional information can be found by visiting InternationalPaper.com.
About the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore
For 40 years, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore has provided over 350 million meals to those in our community who face hunger. Through our programs, facilities, and large network of community partners, we “eliminate hunger” on a daily basis for many. However, we understand that our current work addresses hunger for individuals in the short term. It does not address the root causes which force individuals to return to a food pantry again and again. This understanding has led to the creation of a 3-year strategic plan aimed to move Hampton Roads closer to achieving the mission of eliminating hunger for those we serve—not only for the day, or for the week, but for a lifetime. For up-to-date information on the Foodbank, visit www.foodbankonline.org, Facebook, or Twitter.