From Honduras to Costa Rica, Cargill’s strategic outreach programs improve schools and empower local farmers.
In the early 2000s, Cargill employees in Honduras noticed something strange at local schools: bags of food delivered by the government lay untouched on the front patio. Employees learned from teachers and staff that the schools did not have space to safely store and prepare the food, and few parents were willing to carry the leftover food to their homes, given the long distances most had to travel each day.
To solve the problem, Cargill employees volunteered their time and energy to build and remodel kitchens for primary schools in Honduras, completing more than 50 kitchen projects in the country that benefit over 15,000 children. Today, the volunteer effort is called Cargill Kitchen Projects, with initiatives underway in the Central American countries where Cargill operates: Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Nearly 90% of Cargill employees participate in these and other community service initiatives each year.
To further extend Cargill’s involvement in Central American communities, the company established a second initiative, this time with customers: the Special Collaborators Program. Focused on providing added value to Cargill’s clients at the point of sale in supermarkets, local grocery stores and bodegas, this initiative promotes sales by offering advice and information to consumers. Cargill employees communicate directly with shoppers about the company’s products, explaining the differences between various poultry options, educating them about the origins of the poultry they choose and answering questions—even helping them load food into their cars during high-demand seasons. The Special Collaborators Program underscores Cargill’s innovative approach of bringing global expertise to local areas.
People in Central America have reacted positively to the leadership and commitment Cargill has shown by improving school environments, expanding food offerings and empowering smallholder farmers. The work is evidence of the company’s ongoing commitment to nourishing communities across the globe.