Corporate Social Responsibility
Since 1966, SugarCreek has been invested in the communities it calls home. With six facilities located throughout the Midwest, we are dedicated to sourcing quality ingredients in a responsible way, giving back to our communities, and being a caretaker of the environment.
Our commitment to give back led us to create our Rescue Initiative, SugarCreek: Empowering Change. This allowed us to bring to life our sustainable business practices that deliver on our core beliefs of being an involved community citizen.
SugarCreek: Empowering Change
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in 2018, 14.3 Million households were unable to consistently access enough nutritious foods necessary for a healthy life.1 Research shows that families who share meals together have lower rates of substance abuse and depression as well as higher grade-point averages and self-esteem. Studies also show conversations that take place during mealtime increase vocabulary and reading skills.2
SugarCreek: Empowering Change Initiative, allows SugarCreek to partner with local non-profit organizations like La Soupe to provide meals to food-insecure families to change their lives and increase their chances of success.
La Soupe is a Cincinnati-based non-profit organization that is bridging the gap between food waste and hunger. Chef Suzy DeYoung and her team work daily to rescue otherwise wasted perishables to create delicious and highly-nutritious meals for food-insecure families. SugarCreek’s partnership with La Soupe allows us to share otherwise landfilled food (especially proteins) with La Soupe. In 2019, La Soupe rescued 467,320 pounds of food from the landfill and donated over 300,059 servings to food-insecure families.3 As the first corporate sponsor, SugarCreek helped La Soupe increase their rescued food donated through their new Pallet Partner Program.
LaSoupe also partnered with Master Provisions to take excess rescue perishables that LaSoupe cannot transform quickly enough. Master Provisions collects surplus and donated food from area distributors and makes it available to non-profits in the Tri-State area. These are high-quality, nutritious fresh foods that would otherwise go to a landfill. Master Provisions provides to non-profits like shelters, neighborhood food pantries, and other groups that can use this surplus to provide healthy food to the hungry. They are also able to train people to re-enter the workforce and help redistribute donated goods to families in need.
HOW OUR INITIATIVE BEGANAs we celebrated our 50-year anniversary of success in the food industry, and in an increased effort to find efficiencies that would tie into our sustainable business practices, we realized the need to do our part to keep food out of landfills.
In early 2017, we designated our Cincinnati facilities as the best locations to begin our Rescue Initiative. A process was created by our Quality Assurance Team to review products available for Rescue that were unable to be sold, but still acceptable from a Food Safety standpoint. Once product has been deemed acceptable, the items are then converted “Rescue” inventory and shipped to places like La Soupe and Master Provisions.
In 2018, in an effort to continue to reduce waste, we began rescuing all of our ends and pieces that formerly went to the landfill. These are perfectly edible meats and cheeses and are great for snack bags or casseroles.
In 2018, we rescued 168,939 pounds of ends and pieces. In 2019, that number increased to 181,310 pounds. In 2019, we also began rescuing serving trays and containers.
In 2020, SugarCreek donated a total of 806,254 pounds of food and 181,991 serving trays to feed and distribute to those in need.
Click to enlarge infographic.
Are you a food industry professional who’d like to learn more about how we implemented SugarCreek: Empowering Change? Click here to contact us!
- Source: USDA; 2. Source: Family Dinner Project; 3. Source: LaSoupe; 4. Source: Master Provisions Annual Report Page 8