Cisco Volunteers Help Stop Hunger before the Holidays

Cisco Volunteers Help Stop Hunger before the Holidays

by Austin Belisle

Before we started packing bags, my colleague Eric and I had to take a selfie!

Teams celebrate reaching their goal of 23 boxes -- enough to feed over 4000 people

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Cisco Volunteers Help Stop Hunger before the #Holidays. Read more: @CiscoCSR @Stop_Hunger_Now
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 12:00pm


This Thanksgiving, many of us will celebrate with our friends and family. We’ll gather and enjoy roasted turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, and a slice of grandma’s pumpkin pie for dessert. Unfortunately, 805 million around the world don’t have enough to eat. Last week, I learned that we can change that. I participated in the StopHungerNow Volunteer Food Sort on Cisco’s San Jose campus and joined 200 employees in the fight against hunger.

As part of Cisco’s 12th Annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign, we packaged rice, soy, and vitamins into small plastic bags for distribution. Together, we boxed up 50,000 meals, which will be shipped to hungry children in more than 27 countries this year.

When I stepped into Building 30’s café, the room was buzzing with excitement. Volunteers were chatting excitedly, huddled near the hundreds of bags of rice. Scales, funnels, plastic bags, and buckets of dried food lined the dozens of tables in the center of the cafeteria. I snapped on a bright blue hair net, fitted my gloves, and joined my team at our table.

I stood ready at the rice and dried vegetables, and when the horn blew, I was a scooping and pouring machine. In a blur, our team scooped the ingredients, threw them in the small plastic bags, and sealed them tightly in brown boxes. We moved down the assembly line without a hitch, laughing and smiling in our fight against hunger. At the end of two hours, our team put together 23 boxes of meals, enough to serve 4968 hungry people!

Our Global Hunger Relief Campaign goal is to raise $1.8 million and log 30,000 volunteer hours in support of more than 160 nonprofit organizations around the world. Though I’ve donated food to the Second Harvest Food Bank, I’ve never been as involved in giving back as I was last week. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my good fortune with the hungry children and families in need this holiday season. And this Thanksgiving, I’ll be more grateful than ever for the memories and meals I get to enjoy with my family and friends.