It’s the spirit of giving season, and business consulting company Protiviti is setting the movement off while people are in the Thanksgiving spirit. At 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 20, at Navy Pier, with 350 volunteers and almost two dozen Chicago companies will be bagging and boxing meals for the hungry in a joint effort with Feed My Starving Children.
Protiviti’s Chicago committee Spirit of Communiti teamed up with Protiviti’s national “i on Hunger” initiative to feed the homeless on a global scale. The goal is to pack 100,000 meals in 2.5 hours for people in developing countries.
“We’ve teamed with Feed My Starving Children to conduct an efficient and fun meal-packing event at Navy Pier,” said Tom Andreesen, managing director and head of Protiviti’s Chicago office, to Shamontiel Vaughn, the Chicago News & Events Examiner. “I’m extremely pleased that so many of our clients here in Chicago are joining our efforts and their employees are volunteering alongside our people to make a positive difference in the world.”
Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit Christian organization, has been hand-packing meals for malnourished children and adults since their founding in 1987. They’ve distributed food in nearly 70 countries worldwide.
Other companies who will be a part of the “i on Hunger” campaign include Ronald McDonald House, Harvester’s Foodbank, City Harvest, Stop Hunger Now, Feeding Children Everywhere, Food Lifeline and Philabundance.
“Protiviti is always looking for ways to engage employees and give back to communities that need support,” said Andreesen. “As we looked across Protiviti’s global footprint, we saw employees conducting food drives, hosting meal-packing events and partnering with non-profit organizations to deliver meals to the hungry. We realized that hunger is a global issue that our employees are passionate about, and that as an organization we could support and amplify their efforts.”
Chicago residents who would like to participate in helping to fight against hunger in the City of Chicago can do so with companies like VolunteerMatch, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Stand Up for Kids, Salvation Army Chicago and Greater Chicago Food Depository.
According to Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH), there were approximately 138,575 Chicagoans who were homeless during the 2013 to 2014 school year, which is 19.4 percent higher than the 116,042 people who were homeless during the last school term. Homeless students tend to bounce between homes of those who are already in overcrowded living conditions, according to CCH.
Homeless families in Chicago have increased by 11.4 percent since August 2013. On a national level, the homeless rate has increased by 7 percent, according to a 25-city survey from the U.S. Conference of Mayors Hunger & Homelessness Survey for 2013. In a 2007 breakdown, African Americans (75 percent) account for majority of the homeless population within the city, followed by 16 percent white, 6 percent Latino and 3 percent of other racial groups.
The average wage needed to comfortably live in the City of Chicago, without paying more than the suggested 30 percent of housing income, is $36K on an annual basis. At least two minimum wage workers making $8.25 per hour would be necessary to maintain suitable living conditions.
However, 10.2 million Americans live on just under $20K, according to Out of Reach 2014. For those looking for employment opportunities, Robert Half is also a specialized temporary and permanent employment recruiting firm.
Protiviti’s professionals service over 70 locations in 20 countries in business performance improvement, IT consulting, risk and compliance, internal audit and financial advice, transaction services, and restructuring and litigation. Robert Half launched Protiviti in May 2002.
Protiviti also plans to reach out to other cities in their fight against hunger.
“We will be hosting several employee and customer events within our footprint and will also have onsite meal-packing events during our internal training sessions and orientations,” said Andreesen. “We are scheduling events in New York, Boston, Cleveland, Houston, Phoenix and many other cities in the U.S. for employees and customers. This is a year-long effort that will involve all of our 3,000 employees.”
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