At OpenText, we believe that the future of growth is sustainable and inclusive. We also believe that one of the best ways we can make a lasting impact is to think globally and act locally, investing in the communities where we live and work. As part of our commitment to Zero Barriers, and in alignment with UN SDG #2 – Zero Hunger – we are striving to do our part to end hunger.
For the fourth year in a row, OpenTexters came together to raise funds for food banks in the communities where they live and work. Through the incredible generosity of our employees, we not only met our 2023 goal of raising $500,000, but exceeded it, contributing 2.4 million meals to those in need! Our OpenTexters also gave the gift of time, spending more than 8,300 hours volunteering at food banks around the world to help sort and package food and deliver essential meals to families in need.
Check out the incredible results of OpenText’s 2023 Holiday Food Bank Campaign below and continue reading to learn more about a few of our amazing food bank partners that helped make this season’s campaign such a tremendous success.
Partnering with organizations that make an impact
As part of the OpenText Holiday Food Bank campaign, we proudly partnered with 70 food banks around the world, including The Global FoodBanking Network which supports more than 50 food banks in different regions. Through these partnerships, we were able to help deliver much-needed support during a critical time of year.
Here’s a look at some of the ways OpenText employees were able to make a difference at food banks in their communities:
The Food Bank of Waterloo Region
For over 20 years, OpenText has partnered closely with the Food Bank of Waterloo Region. Over the course of our partnership, employees have supported this food bank in a variety of ways including through Food & Fund Drives, volunteering in the warehouse, and making financial donations.
This year’s campaign brought incredible support for the Waterloo food bank, where we were able to donate $60,000 CDN and help to sort more than 5,900 pounds of food during not one, but two employee volunteer days.
Kim Wilhelm, Interim CEO from The Foodbank of Waterloo Region shared why now is such a critical time to give back ahead of the holiday season:
“The cost of living has never been higher and, as a result, people are struggling. This means more people are turning to food banks and community programs and services for help. We are also hearing that many people are making tough choices such as choosing between paying their rent or mortgage, putting gas in their car to get to work, or putting food on the table. Every dollar helps and we are incredibly grateful for long-time community partners like OpenText who have supported and advocated for The Food Bank of Waterloo Region year, after year.”
Banco de Alimentos
During our 2023 Holiday Food Bank campaign, OpenTexters in Brazil partnered closely with Banco de Alimentos, fundraising, and volunteering their time to provide support for those in need living in São Paulo. This dedicated group of employees exceeded their fundraising goal of $R 25,000.00 and, through matching from OpenText, donated nearly $R 60,000.00. This equates to more than 22,000 pounds of food for the community!
As the local food industry becomes more efficient in their efforts to eliminate in-store grocery waste, food donations decrease. That is why monetary donations are so important — it allows food banks like the Banco de Alimentos in Brazil to buy the food needed to continue their good work. Luciana Chinaglia Quintao from Banco De Alimentos shares how they are thinking outside of the box to find new ways to fight hunger:
“We collect food that has lost its shelf value in commerce and industry but is still suitable for consumption. Instead of discarding vegetables, fruit, pasta, and other food items, our partners donate their surplus food to Banco de Alimentos, and from there we distribute to those in need. We also educate our communities and partners on how to use food sources to their fullest potential, such as proper handling and storage, and how to use leaves, stems, peels, and seeds.”
Food Lifeline Seattle
Over the last several years, OpenText has partnered with Food Lifeline in Seattle, giving back to the community, and having a little fun along the way! While Food Lifeline in Seattle specifically serves those in need in the western Washington area, the organization has over 325 agency partners across 17 countries and distributed over 233,000 meals every day in 2022 alone.
Our Seattle-based OpenTexters are a passionate bunch, volunteering their time throughout the year to support Food Lifeline in Seattle. During the OpenText Holiday Food Bank Campaign, employees spent an afternoon at the food bank, sorting over 3,500lbs of frozen potatoes into manageable 30lb boxes that will be shipped to a variety of food banks in their community.
According to Marisa Kent-Guerra from Food Lifeline, there are unfortunately challenges with keeping up with stock to support the community:
“The biggest demand we’re facing right now is a significant increase in need in the communities we serve. Issues like supply chain constraints mean that we are having trouble keeping food in the warehouse. We have done an incredible job stepping up to meet the community’s need, but there are definitely challenges that come with doing so.”
Despite these challenges, Food Lifeline is doing a tremendous job of meeting the needs of so many people; and OpenText is proud to be a partner of this terrific organization.
Rise Against Hunger Philippines
Rise Against Hunger Philippines (RAHP) works with local government and businesses to collect surplus food and non-food items from restaurants, hotels, manufacturing companies, and farm cooperatives and distribute to those in need in communities across the Philippines. They also serve freshly cooked, nutritious meals to those facing hunger across Metro Manila via their mobile kitchen!
The holiday season is a time to celebrate, and many traditions are centered around food. That is why Jomar Fleras, Executive Director of RAHP is grateful for the monetary donations that allow everyone to enjoy this special time of year:
“The holidays are especially busy for RAHP because of the increased focus on making sure there is enough food for celebrations. Most of the people in need do not have enough budget for Noche Buena — the traditional dinner on December 24. We are so grateful for our partners and the support of our communities to help make sure no one goes hungry during the holiday season.”
OpenText has proudly partnered with RAHP for several years. During our 2023 Holiday Food Bank Campaign, OpenTexters in Makati City not only exceeded their fundraising goal but came together to pack over 32,000 meals for school programs in Camarines Sur, a province in Southern Luzon where malnutrition is high. CEO & CTO, Mark J. Barrenechea and Chief Customer Office, Paul Duggan, joined in on the volunteer day, rolling up their sleeves alongside nearly 200 OpenTexters!
Making an impact, one meal at a time
At OpenText, we know that small actions carried out by a lot of people – in our case, by more than 25,000 OpenTexters – can make a big difference in the lives of others. Since 2020, our annual OpenText Holiday Food Bank Campaign has directed over $2.5 million to food banks around the world, helping to provide over ten million meals to those in need.
While we continue to work towards our Zero-In Initiative goals, including our efforts to zero-in on Zero Hunger, we are extremely grateful to our incredible employees for their dedication, generosity, and unwavering support during the holiday season, and beyond.