MINNEAPOLIS -- Jeff Noddle likes the idea that the Food Industry Crusade Against Hunger tries to make recipients of its largess self-sufficient.
"FICAH puts money behind long-term solutions, not just today's conditions, and I like that," the president and chief executive officer of Supervalu here told SN.
"What particularly impresses me is the fact FICAH pushes self-sufficiency through education and training to achieve long-term solutions. Rather than focusing solely on hunger relief, it supports job training, crop production and other methods to make recipients more self-reliant."
Anika Hagenson, Supervalu's administrator for government affairs and contributions, and manager of the company's Supervalu Foundation, said she feels the same. "FICAH doesn't take a Band-Aid approach to hunger relief but focuses instead on helping people provide for themselves," she told SN.
According to Noddle, "There's a pressing need for organizations to help the needy become self-sufficient. The U.S. is a land of abundance, and we as industry leaders must talk about that more to reflect the attitude of the whole food industry."
Since Supervalu joined FICAH in 1986, it has donated about $700,000 to the organization at an annual giving rate of about $50,000, Hagenson said. In addition, it raised $72,000 in 1999 when 140 corporate stores participated in the Food For All point-of-sale program, and $170,000 in 2000 when all 294 corporate stores participated," she noted.
"We had a choice of operating Food For All on a year-round basis or as a seasonal holiday program from October through January," Noddle said, "and we opted for the holiday program because that's when people are in the mood to make donations, whereas offering it year-round would dilute its impact."
Noddle said he believes FICAH could increase the amount of contributions it gets from industry donations by working more aggressively to get trade associations to focus on FICAH in their meetings and to do more to encourage their members to support FICAH.
He said he also believes there's a need for industry leaders to talk from time to time with other executives who may not be involved with FICAH.
Noddle said both he and Andy Herring, Supervalu's senior vice president, have occasionally made contact with other executives to encourage their participation.