IFT Reaches Out to Help Those in Need Through Second Harvest TEST Program Expands on IFT Commitment to Help Those in Need

July 7, 2008

New Orleans—July 7, 2008—During the 2008 Annual Meeting & Food Expo, members of the Institute of Food Technologists helped to fight hunger in South Louisiana by working with Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, a local nonprofit that is a member of America’s Second Harvest, the Nation’s Food Bank Network. 

IFT members participated in community-based programs to advance IFT’s mission of providing safe, plentiful and nutritious food to those in need through a variety of programs. In addition to encouraging cash donations from members at show registration, this is the first year IFT has expanded the program to include hands-on activities for attendees to serve in the local community.  Key community opportunities included food sorting, packing and involvement with the Second Harvest Mobile Pantry. 

For many years, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) has donated surplus food product from its Annual Meeting and Food Expo exhibit floor to local food banks in cities where this show is held. This year’s expanded volunteer outreach served as a pilot for an expanded relationship with America’s Second Harvest, which may open new philanthropic opportunities to reach out to those in need in future Annual Meeting and Food Expo city locations during the coming years.

“New Orleans has historically been a great host city for IFT members and guests visiting the IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo – with incredible cuisine, multicultural music, and deep historic roots,” said Dr. Lam Hood, an IFT member who led this community service project. “IFT was last in New Orleans in 2005 –just three weeks before Katrina—and it offers members a great opportunity to give back through hands on activities that make a difference in the local community.”

For more information, http://www.am-fe.ift.org/cms/?pid=1000572.  Media can contact Jeannie Houchins, Director of Media Relations, at jhouchins@ift.org to learn more about details of specific volunteer outreach activities in the New Orleans area.

Key Background Facts on Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana:

  • Every dollar contributed to Second Harvest provides an entire meal for a family of 4.
  • Since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Second Harvest distributed over 82 million pounds of food - more than four
  • Last year, 5,652 volunteers donated more than 22,000 hours of time to help the Food Bank feed hungry people. That is the equivalent of 11 full-time staff members!
  • During the 2008 academic school year, the Backpack program provided over 18,000 backpacks to school-age children at-risk for hunger.
  • Last year, the Food Distribution program distributed over 183,000 boxes to individuals and families in need.
  • Second Harvest fed 62,800 people every week—approximately 248,000 people annually.

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About IFT
Founded in 1939, and with world headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA, the Institute of Food Technologists is a not-for-profit international scientific society with 22,000 members working in food science and technology and related professions in industry, academia and government. As the society for food science and technology, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion of food issues.