West Haven, CT – Watson Inc. presented a check for $2,000 to the West Haven Emergency Assistance Taskforce (known as W.H.E.A.T.). Rose Majestic, Executive Director of W.H.E.A.T., accepted this donation, which will be used to purchase much-needed items for the food pantry. W.H.E.A.T.is a volunteer agency with a staff of one, the Executive Director herself, and depends on food and monetary donations, including grants from various foundations. 80% of their stock comes from the Connecticut Food Bank; the rest comes from food drives held in West Haven and neighboring towns, but it’s not enough.
Approximately 19% of West Haven residents are food-insecure, according to calculations of food insecurity data compiled by Feeding America and Craig Gundersen (Gundersen, C., A. Dewy, A. Crumbaugh, M. Kato & E. Engelhard. Map the Meal Gap 2016: Food insecurity and Child Food Insecurity Estimates at the County Level. Feeding America 2016). You can access information on food insecurity data for Connecticut here: http://www.ctfoodbank.org/about-us/hunger-in-connecticut/. With an estimated population of 55,209 people, this means that about 10,500 people in West Haven are likely to be food insecure. That creates an enormous challenge for W.H.E.A.T., as well as West Haven area soup kitchens. WHEAT is currently serving 5,000 households in West Haven, including 1,000 children and are providing over 80,000 meals a year.
Watson is pledging a long-term commitment to support W.H.E.A.T. in their efforts to provide food to those in need. In addition to financial contributions and food donations, Watson is working to raise awareness, and challenges other companies to take action as well.
“September is Hunger Action Month,” stated Moira Watson, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Watson Inc. “so we see this as the perfect time to begin this campaign. We hope to be able to gain the support of 9 additional companies in West Haven or surrounding towns. Ideally, we would like to see companies willing to sponsor a shelf at W.H.E.A.T. for a year. Then, even if only ten companies are willing to do this, it would make a tremendous difference for W.H.E.A.T., and allow them continue their mission and to extend their reach to all those in need in the community.”
Shelves at W.H.E.A.T. can be sponsored for $100 a week, which provides about 100 items. The types of items most needed are staples, such as tomato products, soups, and chili. If ten companies, including Watson, were each to donate only $5,200 a year to W.H.E.A.T., they would be helping to feed literally hundreds of families every year.
“What companies get back from a sponsorship like this is tremendous” continued Watson. “Employees are proud to work for a company that supports their community. Increased employee engagement and employee satisfaction is one of the benefits we’ve experienced here at Watson. And in addition, these programs help attract new employees as well. Today, quality-candidates are looking on your Facebook and twitter pages to determine if your company-culture is a good fit for them or not. In addition, our customers value social responsibility. And perhaps most importantly, you get the support of your community. People want to do business and support companies that impact their communities in a positive way. I sincerely hope we are able to inspire nine additional companies to be willing to sponsor a shelf at W.H.E.A.T. for one year!”
Watson has been a long-time supporter of the Connecticut Food Bank, and an advocate for local businesses to support their communities and give back.
Watson has a comprehensive community service program and is involved in local charities such as Columbus House and the Connecticut Food Bank, as well as national charities and service organizations. To learn more about the community service programs at Watson, please see their News page: http://watsoninc.wpengine.com/news/category/social-responsibility/
The West Haven Emergency Assistance Taskforce was founded in 1975 by the West Haven Clergy Association as a central place where West Haven residents in crisis could go for food, instead of going from congregation to congregation. Throughout our 40 years, they have grown from a small pantry in the basement of the West Haven Community House to their current 30,000 sq. foot location on Washington Avenue, expanding to provide emergency services and referrals to other places to get food, housing, clothing, furniture, and more. In 2008, we offered permanent space for the Yale New Haven Hospital Project Mothercare, a medical clinic for women and children. The Center is staffed by a representative from the Connecticut Association of Human Services. WHEAT is currently serving 5,000 households in West Haven, including 1,000 children and are providing over 80,000 meals a year. For more information on W.H.E.A.T., see our website: http://www.wheatpantry.org/index.html
Watson is one of the highest-quality suppliers of products and services geared towards enhancing human health and nutrition around the world. We are a leader in developing quality products and innovative ingredient systems for the food and supplement industries. Expertise in custom nutrient premixes, microencapsulation, agglomeration, micronizing, spray drying, and film technology allows us to develop unique formulations and products, using Watson-manufactured, value-added ingredients. For more information on Watson, see www.watson-inc.com.
Moira Watson, V.P. Marketing & Communications
800-388-3481 or (203) 932-3000
- Corporate headquarters: 301 Heffernan Drive, West Haven CT 06516
- CEO: James T. Watson
- Website: watson-inc.com
- Employees: 300