This message was written just days after the "National Volunteer Week," a week designed to "reflect the power that volunteers have to inspire by example." According to a nationally recognized nonprofit coalition, the estimated dollar value of volunteer time in 2007 was $19.51 per hour. This estimate is only a start in truly acknowledging the millions of individuals who dedicate their time, talent, and energy to make a difference every day.
On behalf of IFT, I thank thousands of you for your membership and volunteer support. Years of philanthropic research reveals that individuals volunteering time to a worthwhile organization also believe in additional support through monetary donations. Individuals are motivated to "donate" or "volunteer" if they feel they can truly make a difference.
Most of IFT’s successes, and its contributions to the profession and beyond, cannot be accomplished without the financial support of the IFT Foundation. Established in 1985, the IFT Foundation is a community of donors dedicated to raising awareness of food science and technology by providing funds to students interested in pursuing a career in the profession. The Foundation supports programs that stimulate an interest in science, attracts students to food science curricula and careers, and develops leadership potential among students and young professionals.
Over the years, the Foundation has funded IFT Expert Reports, career guidance programs (including the current Discovery Education program), diversity initiatives, media education, and leadership programs for the IFT Student Association. Each year, more than 2,700 IFT members, Sections, Divisions, companies, and allied organizations support IFT programs through donations to the IFT Foundation. Since its inception, the Foundation has disbursed more than $10 million to fund programs that reach beyond IFT and benefit the profession, industry, and consumers around the world.
"I support the IFT Foundation’s student scholarship programs. Students represent the future of my profession." —M. Anandha Rao
The IFT Foundation encourages students to pursue food science and related curricula by providing scholarships. Since 1985, more than $4 million has been awarded in scholarships and awards. In the fall of 2006 and the spring of 2007, 138 graduate and undergraduate scholarships were awarded.
"I support the IFT Foundation because of its extraordinarily effective program to support students … the lifeblood and future of IFT and our profession, and because of the focus on bringing sound science and common sense about food to decision makers and consumers." —Bruce Stillings
Within the last few years, members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees introduced "A Taste for Science" campaign supporting programs that stimulate an interest in science. Efforts are made on an ongoing basis to attract the best and brightest to our profession. To ensure that we continue to attract these individuals, IFT and Discovery Education developed and distributed multimedia kits for school counselors and science teachers to 18,000 public high schools nationwide.
Further support of our next generation is available by promoting the field of food science to school teachers, counselors, parents, and students through the IFT Food Science Ambassador Program. More than 360 IFT members are enrolled in the program to date.
"When we as professionals provide funding for IFT students, we are helping to ensure that the deserving students can continue their studies." —Bruce Feree
The Foundation is gearing up for the eighth annual IFT Student Association/IFT Foundation Fun Run, a 5K event to benefit the scholarship program. In 2007, the Fun Run raised $50,000 in Chicago with the highest number of IFT Section, IFT Division, and corporate event sponsors, and more than 430 individual registrants.
"I support the IFT Foundation because it advances the profession of food science through science-based communications to the public, industry, and government." —Manjeet Chinnan
Access to leading research addresses the ongoing needs of food science professionals. The Expert Report on Antimicrobial Resistance joined the list of comprehensive technical papers that IFT has produced with Foundation support.
How can you support our Foundation? You can demonstrate your commitment through an annual gift to the Foundation, by becoming a fundraising solicitor, volunteering as a Foundation Liaison to your Section, giving a gift in honor or in tribute to a colleague or family member, or by including the IFT Foundation in your estate planning. For more information, contact the IFT Development Office at 312-782-8424. I hope you will consider an annual gift to the Foundation to support future generations of food science and technology professionals.
by John D. Floros,
IFT President, 2007–08
Professor and Head, Food Science Dept.,
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pa.