For many years, it’s been our mission to make a meaningful impact in the communities where we work and source ingredients. The global pandemic disrupted many things during the last two years, and our community engagement efforts were no exception: With in-person volunteering limited or paused, and an increased, urgent demand in many of our already-vulnerable communities, we needed to find new ways to help, and quickly. Our business units and Associates sprang into action, creating and executing efforts around the world, even in the face of tremendous logistical challenges.
Mars Petcare donated pet food and veterinary services to help abandoned and community pets and support overwhelmed shelters across the globe. Mars Wrigley pledged $3M, primarily to support the communities where they have operations. Mars Food provided products like rice to help support shelters and food banks all over the world, and Mars Edge made sure front line workers had goodnessKnows™ bars as a nutritious pick-me-up during their long, exhausting shifts.
COVID-19 was most devastating to those at-risk and vulnerable, which is why in April of 2020 we committed to giving cash and in-kind donations to organizations like CARE, the Humane Society International and the United Nations World Food Programme, and why we’ve given $42M in cash and in-kind products and services across the globe to date.
Our Associates found ways to stay engaged while working from home, too. For example, a team in Lithuania shifted from working together building dog houses and making cat beds for local shelters to taking the materials home and enlisting the help of family members. In Denmark, a team launched the Kind Challenge, encouraging Associates to do one act of virtual kindness for 21 days.
Our 2020-2021 Community Engagement Summary shows our efforts were a success, with our charitable endeavors and giving hitting record levels!
Other facts and figures about Community Engagement at Mars:
- Our Mars Volunteer Program (MVP) served more than 1.1 million people and 8,000 pets in 2019.
- Our Mars Ambassador Program (MAP), a popular program providing a remarkable opportunity to develop leadership competencies in a unique setting, has seen more than 800 of our Associates log more than 45,000 volunteer hours since its inception in 2008.
- One of our approximately 20 MAP programs each year is the Mars Assisted Reef Restoration, where Associates can apply to work on reef ecosystem restoration. In just three years, coral cover has grown from 5% to 55% at the SHEBA® Hope Reef!
The world we want tomorrow for people, pets and the planet starts in the communities where we work and live. At Mars, meaningful community engagement isn’t just an aspiration, it’s a key part of our Purpose, and it’s the way we do business today and every day.