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Excel Volunteers Get Down and Dirty Picking Vegetables for Food Bank

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Fall is the time for apple-picking in an orchard or meandering through a pumpkin patch in search of the perfect pumpkin. Or how about getting lost in a corn maze and finding your way out by silvery autumn moonlight?

To the socially-conscious Excel Packaging employees, fall is also an especially ripe time for giving back to the local community. In October, a group of Excel employees volunteered to pick vegetables for Second Harvest Food Bank, a leader in Orange County’s fight against hunger.


According to the charitable organization’s website, “Second Harvest Food Bank works through a network of 180 non-profit partner agencies and programs to provide wholesome food and fresh produce to more than 335,000 hungry children, seniors, and families in Orange County,” a number equivalent to the total population of Cincinnati, Ohio.

And that’s not every year; that’s every month. Feeding Orange County’s hungry is a big project, and the need for volunteers and community support is as persistent as, well, the need to eat.


At Excel Packaging, there’s no hierarchy of labor when it comes to helping those in need. Excel employee Nicole Merrit expressed high praise for what she saw, noting in addition that Mike Sommers, CEO, “set the tone” for this monthly event.

What Nicole valued most about the experience was that it provided co-workers a greater appreciation for the benefits of volunteer work. “Not only do these acts bring us closer together as colleagues,” she said afterwards. “They give everyone in the company a sense of pride in being part of a compassionate team that cares about their community.

She also gained a greater appreciation for the effort that goes into bringing fresh vegetables to market. “Most of our society is removed from this essential labor,” she said. “Getting down into the dirt as a group gave us more appreciation for the important work.


The zucchini, cucumbers, and green beans harvested by Excel employees could end up at any number of Orange County charities—Kids Café, for instance, an organization that provides after-school meals for as many as 2,700 children from low-income neighborhoods, where 99% of school children qualify for free or reduced-rate lunch.

Or maybe these fresh vegetables will find their way School Pantry, that, like Kids Café, makes monthly deliveries of fresh produce to eighteen schools in Orange County and offers a brick-and-mortar mini-mart where low-income parents can grocery shop.


Other beneficiaries include Groceries for Seniors, Fresh Food for Families & Individuals, and the list goes on.

Excel Marketing Assistant Eden Salazar organized the day of service. A few sore backs, and a few sun burns later, the entire team went home with a desire to do more good.

It’s all part of Excel Packaging’s commitment to leadership—in the industry as well as the community. It’s why Excel consistently supports charitable organizations like Second Harvest, OneMeal (a group that provides meals for children around the world), Orange County Rescue Mission, and others.

Want to learn more about our team and their philanthropic activities? Check out our blog at ExcelPackaging.com/blog.