Company donates 200,000 pounds of food

December 7, 2008 1:44:41 PM PST
There has been a nationwide slowdown in corporate giving due to the recession.

But that has not stopped the corporate culture of giving at Applied Materials in Santa Clara.

On Saturday employees held their 13th Annual Helping Hands Day, even though the company itself is suffering.

Ironically, some of the 300 volunteers from Applied Materials of Santa Clara could have some tough times of their own ahead. In November the chip manufacturing equipment company announced nearly 2,000 layoffs.

"Giving to the community, corporate social responsibility has been very important for us," said Chris Bowers with Applied Materials.

Applied Materials bought 200,000 pounds of food and sorted it into "pantry boxes" for needy families in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Each box contained enough food to make several meals for a family.

"The corporate culture at Applied is a really strong community support ethic. And, it's both at the corporate level and I think, the employee level. And, the food bank is the lucky recipient of this kind of generosity," said Second Harvest CEO Kieth Flagler.

The Second Harvest Food Bank says fewer people and companies are giving this year, and a record number of people are seeking assistance, some for the first time. Meanwhile, a few local pantries have even run out of food to give.

"And I'd have to say it's not a woe is me statement. But the demand out there is increasing. It's even worse than what we're reading in the papers," said Flagler.

That sentiment made the volunteer effort even more important.

The pantry boxes the volunteers made will be sent to Second Harvest Food Bank and they will be in someone's pantry by next week.


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