City: Little Rock
Category: Arkansas Community Foundation's Outstanding Philanthropic Corporations
Performance Foodservice encourages generosity companywide, and its Little Rock president has chosen to lead by example.
Joe Copeland, who is region president for Performance, serves on the boards of the Arkansas Foodbank, the Little Rock Compassion Center and the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. When a group from Performance volunteered to pick watermelons for the Hunger Relief Alliance, Copeland was there, cutting melons from vines. “You’ve got to get involved and set an example,” Copeland said.
Copeland’s community involvement with hunger outreach programs provides him with the knowledge and passion to educate his staff about local needs. And the employees respond — not all 360 of them every time, but a number with enthusiasm for particular causes.
Performance’s corporate authorities recommend minimum food donations from the food distribution company’s branches, and Copeland’s location chooses to stay above the minimum. In 2011, the Little Rock branch donated more than 90,000 pounds of food to the Arkansas Foodbank alone.
And while food donations from a food distribution company make sense, Copeland said, he and his President’s Advisory Council within the Little Rock branch ensure that the whole staff is educated on volunteer opportunities available beyond the company’s internal collection for the Arkansas Foodbank’s Summer Cereal Drive and sponsorships of four annual charity fundraisers.
The President’s Advisory Council, per Copeland’s approval, finds and posts community donation and volunteer needs in the company’s break room and searches for ways the company can foster in its employees generosity of talent, time and resources.