Ben’s Original Launches Two Programs To Support Underserved Communities


“Be an After-School Hero” initiative to address food insecurity and Seat at the Table™ Fund scholarship to help BIPOC students pursue careers in food

Ben’s Original brand announced two initiatives to support communities across Canada taking further action to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table. The “Be an After-School Hero” program will deliver up to 200,000 meals to Canadian families in need, and the brand’s Seat at the Table™ Fund, which aims to create equitable opportunities for students who identify as Black, Indigenous or Persons of Colour pursuing careers in the food industry, is officially open for applications.

“Be An After-School Hero” Program

For more than 70 years, Ben’s Original™ rice varieties have been the easy, tasty cornerstone for meals around the dinner table, but for many families across the country, dinner is not guaranteed. The brand is addressing this need through community outreach programs around the world to ensure underserved communities have access to the nutritious meals we all deserve.

From August 15 to October 10, for every purchase of Ben’s Original™ rice products, the brand will donate $1 to Food Banks Canada to support Canadians facing food insecurity, up to $100,000 which can provide 200,000 meals.

“We’re very happy to work with Food Banks Canada to support families in need,” said Eric Huston, General Manager, Mars Food Canada. “Through this partnership, we’re bringing to life our commitment to work toward a more equitable future and to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table.”

Food Banks Canada’s data shows that one in five Canadians now report going hungry – with 23% reporting they are eating less “than they should.” Food Banks Canada, the nation’s leading charitable organization is focused on ways to relieve hunger today while also preventing hunger tomorrow, through various programs, policies, and advocacy initiatives to tackle the issue of hunger.

“Food banks in most regions of Canada are experiencing an influx of visitors, many who are coming for the first time, a number that’s increased by up to 25 per cent in some regions,” said Kirstin Beardsley, Chief Executive Officer of Food Banks Canada. “The Be an After-School Hero initiative with Ben’s Original™ brand comes at a key time as families from coast to coast struggle to cope with rising inflation.”

Consumers can purchase Ben’s Original™ rice in stores nationwide and online. Available in a variety of flavors and formats, including ready-to-heat Bistro Express™, the portfolio provides a convenient and tasty meal options ready in just 90 seconds.

Seat At the Table™ Fund Opens for Applications

Ben’s Original™ is now accepting candidate applications for the Canadian Seat at the Table™ Fund, a scholarship program that creates opportunities for students from under-represented and equity-deserving communities who aspire to build careers in the food industry. Established through a $200,000 commitment by the brand announced in fall 2021, the needs-based awards are designed to help BIPOC students overcome financial barriers and positively affect pathways to employment within the food industry.

“We’re excited to open applications for our Seat at the Table™ Fund in Canada to help deserving students reach their full potential and pursue their dreams of a culinary career,” said Eric Huston. “Our hope is that these scholarships provide both funding and inspiration for future leaders in Canada’s food industry.”

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