Rice Doing Good in the Neighborhood

Female chef serves Uncle Ben
Sep 13, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC -- With corporate headquarters in northern Virginia just outside Washington, Mars, Incorporated calls the area home.  And with its purpose of “Creating a Better World Tomorrow,” it should come as no surprise the company and its employees are actively engaged in giving back to communities.  Last week, the company, maker of Uncle Ben’s and Seeds of Change rice lines, participated in a neighborhood free farmers market with Bread for the City, one of the most respected charitable organizations in the region.

“Bread for the City is a safety net for folks here fighting not only to end poverty, but also to help bridge gaps for underserved people on many fronts – legal, medical, social, and nutritional,” explained the organization’s CEO George A. Jones.  “Food insecurity affects so many residents of our city and federal assistance only provides help for 26 days.  At Bread for the City we’re covering the shortfall.”

They do this with a food pantry, area farms, and twice monthly free farmers markets that feature fresh produce donated by area farmers and other organizations.  And last week, it also featured an Uncle Ben’s booth.

“We gave out about 300 ready-to-heat packages of Uncle Ben’s rice with a recipe card, a coupon for another free Uncle Ben’s rice product, and of course, a delicious sample of veggie stir fry brown rice using ingredients like those handed out at the market and what is regularly available in the Bread for the City pantry,” said Kelly Horton, from Mars North America Public Affairs, who led the team at the event.

Other areas of the Mars family were also involved, with Wrigley oral healthcare samples, and a free preventive care veterinary health clinic from the Banfield Pet Hospital and Foundation team offering checkups at no charge.

Mars and Bread for the City have partnered before, though this was the first time any outside vendor was brought into the free farmers market.

“Mars says ‘#TomorrowStartsToday,’ and that mantra fits perfectly with ours that encourages people to #GiveWhereYouLive,” said Emmy Torruellas, Bread for the City associate director of development.  “We are all about Dignity, Respect, Service, and Justice and it’s partnerships and support from the community of volunteers and good corporate citizens that make that all possible.  We appreciate Mars’ participation at our market and I know our clients did as well.”

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