Social Purpose Spotlight – Duke Manufacturing Co.

In NAFEM’s monthly Social Purpose Spotlight, a different member company’s individual social purpose story is featured. Perhaps reading about the creativity and dedication of these NAFEM members will inspire you to start a program at your organization or provide some new ideas to enhance what you’re already doing.

This month, we talked to Greg Hake, CFSP, COO, Duke Manufacturing Co., St. Louis, Mo. Duke has participated in NAFEM’s Social Purpose program since its inception and the organization takes part in a variety of activities dedicated to fighting hunger in all its locations. 

When the company learned about NAFEM’s Social Purpose program, they immediately got involved. Due to COVID’s in-person restrictions their initial support in 2020 involved financial contributions from ownership to local food banks. Starting in 2021, the US locations (Sedalia and St. Louis, Mo., and Houston, Tex.) began organizing events and the efforts have continued ever since. 

According to Hake, “we host a variety of activities including food drives, walk-a-thons, fundraisers, payroll deductions, raffles and service projects in partnership with local food banks. Each location tailors their involvement to their local interests and opportunities.” The company’s purpose is “Nourish Our World,” so the connection to NAFEM’s Social Purpose program immediately resonated with associates. The ability to focus on the local community enhances the connection to the cause and taking advantage of NAFEM’s matching funds magnifies the already-tangible impact Duke has on the communities where its employees live and work.  

Hake continues, “We have Nourish Our World committees at each location made up of interested volunteers. They develop annual plans, organize events and activities and foster relationships with local food banks. New this year, we’re looking to tie in our international locations with World Central Kitchen so our involvement spreads beyond the U.S.” 

Duke’s Sedalia factory recently had some fun raising money in conjunction with the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl appearance. A manager donated a Chiefs Conference Championship hat that was offered as a raffle prize. Between the raffle, Duke’s matching funds and NAFEM’s match, one small act of generosity turned into a donation of $1,600 or 16,000 meals.  

If your organization is considering a social purpose initiative, Hake has some advice, “Build an emotional connection to the program wherever possible and garner leadership support. Offering a company match in addition to the NAFEM match has helped steadily encourage more giving. We’re a competitive group and each year we raise the target; so far in 2024 we are expecting to triple the impact we had in 2023! “ 

NAFEM’s Social Purpose program, #NAFEMFightingHunger, is back for its fifth year, with a goal of raising funds to support 5 million meals for those in need. When members donate funds, food or volunteer time to their local Feeding America member food banks or any local food bank, NAFEM contributes matching funds. This year, NAFEM will match up to $300,000 of member contributions to local food banks. 

For ideas to start or enhance your company’s efforts, visit #NAFEMFightingHunger. If you have questions or would like to be featured in a future Social Purpose Spotlight, contact NAFEM Headquarters, +1.312.821.0201. 

Get involved … Make a difference … Earn Priority Points.