Randy PondRandy Pond, Cisco Executive Vice President and Second Harvest champion, had the chance to meet with one of the families Second Harvest Food Bank feeds.  Read on to hear his reactions and to learn about why Cisco is committed to ending hunger both locally and around the world.  Content re-posted with permission from Cisco.

Recently, I visited Arletta Jorgenson, an American single mother of three who relies on food pantries to help feed her family (see video below). Arletta, who lost her job as an administrative assistant three years ago and has survived on public assistance ever since, reminds us that financial hardship can happen to anyone – our neighbors, our cousins, colleagues…and us.

In the U.S., 49 million people are “food insecure” (families with at least one member who sometimes is hungry because they can’t afford enough food), according to Feeding America. These people aren’t necessarily homeless – or even unemployed. In fact, more than a third of them have at least one working adult.

Worldwide, there are 925 million undernourished people, according to the World Food Programme. So, one in seven people don’t get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life.  Economists estimate that children whose development is stunted by hunger and malnutrition could lose 5-10 percent in lifetime earnings. And that affects families, villages and economies.

Cisco aims to help, through its annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign, for which we expect to raise more than $1 million in employee donations. With matching funds, we hope to increase that total to over $3 million, enough to provide 8 million meals. Please do your part, whether as a Cisco employee supporting the campaign, or a socially conscious citizen who gives money, food, or time to your local food agency.

For more information on Cisco’s community initiatives, check out Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility website.

What are you doing to give back? Comment below and let us know. Happy Holidays.

-Randy Pond