FirstEnergy employees donate more than 2.3 million meals in 2021
Each March, FirstEnergy employees participate in the Harvest for Hunger campaign to raise money for local foodbanks. In a typical year, this includes activities like luncheons, sporting events, bake sales and silent auctions. While the 2021 campaign was far from typical, employees found creative ways to help those in need while keeping each other safe. They fully supported the campaign and surpassed their goal by raising $333,088 and collecting 8,429 pounds of food resulting in 2,338,639 meals.
"I'm always proud but not surprised by the generosity of our employees. Even with the challenges of the pandemic and the need to conduct our 2021 Harvest for Hunger Campaign virtually, we still were able to surpass our goal of 2 million meals," said Lorna Wisham, vice president, Corporate Affairs and Community Involvement. "FirstEnergy's support of the numerous foodbanks throughout our service territory will go a long way in helping to alleviate food insecurity that many are experiencing during the pandemic."
Stepping Up to End Hunger
The total of $333,088 includes $100,000 from the FirstEnergy Foundation for the Hawaiian Island Harvest for Hunger Healthy Living Challenge. Employees tracked their steps to earn rewards through the company's Healthy Living program, while also raising funds toward the Harvest for Hunger campaign. The Foundation donated $25,000 to the Hawaiian Island challenge effort at each achievement level earned by employees. These donations are being contributed to the largest food banks in each state in the company's service territory.
A Popping Success
Another new initiative for the 2021 campaign was the Pop-the-Trunk drive-thru food collection event held throughout our service area. To support the event, employees and their families, friends and neighbors filled their vehicle trunks with nonperishable food items and dropped them off at a participating foodbank. The event yielded 6,791 pounds of food providing the equivalent of 5,659 meals.
Since 2010, FirstEnergy employees have raised $4 million, or the equivalent of more than 29 million meals, for food pantries in our territory.
Founded in 1992, Harvest for Hunger is one of the largest annual, community-wide food and funds drives in the nation. Its mission is to collect food and funds for local hunger centers. Cash contributions are used to purchase the most needed food items. Each dollar or food item donated remains in the donor's community.
FirstEnergy and its employees have long been strong supporters of United Way. The premise of United Way – leveraging the generous contributions of thousands of people to make the biggest impact for those in need – helps ensure the safety and health of the communities we serve. Since 2001, the FirstEnergy Foundation, employees and retirees have contributed nearly $35 million to United Way campaigns in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey - helping to ensure the safety and health of the communities we serve.
Since the early 1990s, United Way agencies around the country have kicked off their annual campaigns with a Day of Caring, where volunteers from local businesses help local nonprofit agencies tackle meaningful projects like painting homes or trimming trees and shrubs. Hundreds of FirstEnergy employees share enthusiasm for this program. Our participation in “Day of Caring” promotes the spirit and value of volunteerism and helps our employees see how their United Way contributions are used.
FirstEnergy is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Marathon, Half Marathon and Team Relay that are held each September as part of the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series.