I don’t usually talk about this, not because of shame, but because it is about a time that was over two decades ago. It’s a hard subject to talk about. I was once hesitant about sharing my early life and family experiences, but I realized that those experiences helped shape who I am today, and have contributed toward my lifelong passion for giving back.
I grew up in Brazil, where my two younger sisters and I had a happy childhood. My dad was a police officer and my mom was a bookkeeper. With three growing children in the home, money was not readily available. Luckily, my mom knew she could always count on the school’s free lunch to make sure we were fed during the day.
Free school lunches provided my parents with peace of mind, knowing that their daughters were receiving essential nutrients to grow and learn even when times were tough. The lunches were healthy and warm; I can honestly remember how delicious they were. A favorite that sticks out in my mind is a rice dish (rice is a Brazilian staple) with Vienna sausages, carrots and peas.
Fast forward to today, I have the privilege of working for a company that supports employee volunteerism and, in my role as Global Volunteer Program Manager, I empower colleagues around the world to support children who were just like me.
Since 2014, AIG has partnered with Rise Against Hunger to purchase ingredients and host volunteer events that have enabled our colleagues to pack over 1 million meals.
It was a proud moment to cross the 1 millionth meal mark during Rise Against Hunger’s largest event to date in New York City, where we packed 100,000 meals in one day. Those meals that were packed by the hands of so many AIG colleagues who are helping to nourish bodies and minds of young people in need. I hope that the meals provide parents around the globe with the same peace of mind that free nutritious meals provided my own parents as I was growing up.
Are you interested in having your office join the movement to end hunger? Please visit our Engage Your Workplace page to learn more!