During the fourth annual Nourishing Neighbors initiative, we extended our week of giving back to the entire month of September allowing employees more flexibility in the fight against hunger. The numerous natural disasters that impacted our communities throughout the month had many of our locations switching focus to Nourishing Neighbors initiatives surrounding the natural disasters. Here are ways that employees across the globe participated:

High Point, North Bloomfield Rd., & Canandaigua Winery, N.Y.:

  • 250 employees volunteered their time throughout the month of Giving Back
  • At Foodlink, volunteers packed boxes of needed supplies and non-perishable food items in the warehouse, tended the Foodlink Community Garden, delivered over 1,250 meals, weighed and inspected 150 pallets of food, and participated in a half-dozen Curbside Market runs
  • Another team spent time at the Blue Star Mothers Canteen helping with the weekly meal offered to military, veterans, and their families
  • For the employees unable to volunteer off-site, a Blessings in a Backpack packing event was held at both High Point and North Bloomfield. At the events, volunteers packed a total of 1,000 bags of food to support our local Blessings in a Backpack programs at Marcus Whitman and Newark elementary schools providing elementary school students with hunger-free weekends
  • Over 2,000 lbs. of food was also donated by employees throughout the month, and via concertgoers at CMAC who participated in the Thomas Rhett food drive to kick off the month of Giving Back

Chicago, IL:

  • The Logistics Team in Chicago donated time to prepare lunch at Ronald McDonald House for approximately 60 family members of children undergoing treatment for serious illnesses at Lurie’s Children’s Hospital
  • The Chicago office packs backpacks for their local Blessings in a Backpack program year-round, but held an even larger event during the month of September where more than 50 volunteers packed 620 bags to support the students at Shields Elementary the first full month of the school year with hunger-free weekends. Included in the bags were note cards created and decorated by employees containing inspirational messages and well wishes to these students.

Ballast Point, San Diego, CA:

  • Ballast Point employees spent time volunteering with Feeding San Diego and hosted an office-wide food drive that will continue through the end of the year

San Francisco, CA:

  • The San Francisco office held weekly volunteer opportunities for employees to donate their time at the San Francisco Food Bank

Napa / St. Helena, CA:

  • Employees from 801 Main, Robert Mondavi and Franciscan Wineries donated 4,171 lbs. of food to the Napa Food Bank and held a sock drive where they collected 336 pairs of socks for Expressions of Hope


  • Due to the earthquakes, focus was shifted to address the emergency in their community, however, they still collected more than 1,200lbs. of food.


  • Collected food for an association based in Pontassieve (the city where Ruffino is headquartered) to support the homeless

Turner Road Vintners, CA:

  • Donated 200lbs of food to Lodi House Shelter and a total of 9 volunteer hours

Funky Buddha, FL:

  • Funky Buddha collected needed supplies for the victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria

San Antonio, TX:

  • Held a food drive early in the month to address the immediate needs of Hurricane Harvey victims in their community as well as an annual food drive at the end of the month

Woodbridge Winery, CA:

  • Employees cooked lunch every Wednesday throughout September at Grace & Mercy soup kitchen

Auckland, New Zealand:

  • Donate Money:
    • Baking Bonanza raised $100.70 for The Red Cross Society
    • Blue September and Loud Shirt Day- Build your own Burger event was held raising $320 for Prostate Cancer research and $84.50 for deaf awareness in children
  • Donate Food:
    • 155kgs of fruit and vegetables and 45kgs of extras, including women’s personal hygiene products for Fair Foods. Items benefited Ohana Young Parents in Glen Eden, a charity that works alongside young mothers and their babies.
    • Encounter HOPE which is distributing approximately 245 food parcels into the local community, as well as feeding over 300 people at our free community lunches. Fair Food donations enable them to serve a healthy menu with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
    • The Women’s Centre Waitakere, which offers free counselling for people who are victims of abuse, domestic violence, or who are in vulnerable situations and need support in life skills.
    • Eat My Lunch with 74 lunches being ordered, (with the cost ranging from $12-$15 per lunch), for the month of September and the same being donated to children in the lower decile schools in Auckland.
  • Donate Time:
    • Donations of second hand woman’s clothing were made to Dress for Success which aims to provide women re-entering the workforce with clothing suitable for Interviews, and everyday working life

Hawkes Bay, New Zealand:

  • Donate Money:
    • A Blue September breakfast was held which raised $70.00 for Prostate Cancer research.
  • Donate Food:
    • Collections of non-perishable food items for the local food shelter.
  • Donate Time:
    • A BBQ sausage sizzle at a local school was held to provide lunch for the students.

Marlborough, New Zealand:

  • Donate Money:
    • Held the ‘Blue Breakfast’ at Drylands and Riverlands sites and raised $787 for Prostate Cancer research
  • Donate Food:
    • All departments in the region collected non-perishable food for John's Kitchen over two weeks
  • Donate Time:
    • Cooked BBQ lunch for the kids at Mayfield Primary School. Approximately 120 kids and teachers from the school attended.