Whether on or off the clock, Rich’s associates are passionate about giving back to the communities where they live and work. In Buffalo, N.Y., home to the company’s world headquarters, a great example of how Rich’s provides community assistance is through its loyal volunteer relationship with Meals on Wheels for Western New York.
The Meals on Wheels mission is to deliver daily, nutritious meals and to provide related support services to those members of the community who have a limited ability to shop and/or prepare meals for themselves.
For more than eight years, Rich’s Buffalo-based associates have dedicated portions of their time – Monday through Friday, year-round – to deliver meals in the city’s Riverside and Black Rock neighborhoods.
“People on our route are so grateful and friendly,” said Mira Boyczuk, finance food group associate and active volunteer. “Our route gives us the opportunity to learn more about the West Side of Buffalo and to get to know people who live in the neighboring areas of Rich’s world headquarters campus.”
For Meals on Wheels of Western New York this year, Rich’s has 53 volunteers spread across 23 delivery teams, each comprised of two to four people. Once a month, each team delivers meals at lunchtime on the “Rich’s route.”
“Each year, we have enough associate volunteers to deliver meals every weekday of the month,” said Linda Velarde, foodservice marketing associate and team coordinator. “We never have a hard time finding people to volunteer. Our associates really support this cause.”
While Rich’s does not have a formal policy concerning volunteerism during business hours, company associates are permitted to participate in volunteer activities during the workday, with managerial approval. Many associates choose to volunteer during their lunch breaks, instead of taking time away from their work responsibilities.
“Not only are our dedicated associates making a difference right here in Buffalo just beyond the bounds of our world headquarters, but also we have more than 8,000 associates around the globe who are changing lives and bettering the communities in which they work and serve,” said Howard Rich, vice president of Corporate Relations.
“It’s great to know that our company allows us to do this during work hours,” said Boyczuk. “During a delivery a few days ago, an elderly woman asked me to personally thank Bob Rich for allowing us to deliver these meals to them. It really made me feel good to know that our company was helping the members of our community on such a personal level.”
On average, more than 50 percent of Rich’s associates worldwide devote a minimum of 10 hours per month to volunteer service in their respective communities in support of the mission to treat customers, associates and communities “the same way: Like family.”
“Delivering for Meals on Wheels is vital for our community,” added Velarde. “It is not just about bringing meals to people. For some, we are the only contact they will have with another person in the day. It’s wonderful that Rich’s encourages associates to be community-minded.”