Food for Thought Blog

In the Community: Manulife

November 28th, 2018Stories

A fixture in our community for more than 30 years, Manulife is a global organization with strong community roots and an unwavering commitment to give back in a meaningful way. Partnering with The Food Bank of Waterloo Region since 1996, Manulife takes a preventative approach to chronic disease by focusing on programs that inspire individuals to make better dietary choices, leading to longer healthier lives.

As a dedicated supporter of The Food Bank, Manulife staff have participated in and supported a number of food bank initiatives. Most recently, nearly 200 team members volunteered in the Fresh Approaches Food Centre, where they sliced and diced fresh fruits and vegetables, increasing the variety, quantity and quality of food available to those in need through community programs and agency partners.

Programs such as the Fresh Approaches Food Centre help to improve lives in several ways:

  • Build a healthier population by providing nutritious and healthy food choices;
  • Improve social factors of health;
  • Increase social cohesion.

In this business profile, we chat with Anat Cole, Director of Brand, Marketing and CSR, Canadian Division, Manulife and learn about the importance of collaboration and working together to build stronger, healthier communities.

The Food Bank of Waterloo Region (The Food Bank): Tell me a little bit about Manulife?

Manulife: Manulife is a leading international financial services group that helps people make their decisions easier and lives better. We operate primarily as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance, as well as wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups or institutions. Manulife has approximately 35,000 employees globally.

The Food Bank: Why is it important, as an organization, to give back to the community?

Manulife: More is expected of businesses today than ever before, including help in responding to societal challenges in individual communities around the world. Giving back in a meaningful way to the communities in which we live and work is ingrained in our culture. At Manulife, we see it as part of being a responsible corporate citizen and a defining attribute of our corporate identity.

The Food Bank: What does it mean to your organization to be able to give back so generously to the charitable and non-profit organizations in Waterloo Region?

Manulife: Manulife has enjoyed a long history as part of Waterloo Region and recognizes that our employees are members of this community. Their needs are part of the community fabric. When there is a shortage of doctors in this region, it impacts our employees and their ability to obtain healthcare. Our community investments are focused in areas that are a natural extension of our business, where we can help drive broad, lasting social change. Rather than being passive donors, we seek to collaborate with community partners and engage our employees.

The Food Bank: How does Manulife support The Food Bank of Waterloo Region?

Manulife: Each year in November, 180 Manulife employees volunteer their time to support the Food Sorting Challenge. This activity provides an excellent team building opportunity while building awareness of the prominence of hunger in Waterloo Region. Manulife supports our employees’ efforts with a corporate contribution to purchase items of greatest need (as selected by The Food Bank).

The Food Bank: Why do you support The Food Bank of Waterloo Region?

Manulife: Because no one should go hungry. The Food Bank of Waterloo Region is a pillar organization in our community that services more than 100 programs and agencies. Manulife believes in the Food Banks’ model and applauds their efforts to incorporate fresh food into the programs they support. Manulife’s giving focuses on programs that inspire healthier choices so that Canadians live longer, healthier lives. Food choices and nutrition are important elements of this mandate.

If you are looking for assistance or more information about managing your health and wealth, contact Manulife.