Living our mission statement, Melaleuca Team Members have the spirit of philanthropy in their hearts. They love to enhance lives, help people reach their goals, and serve within their communities. And recently, they demonstrated the power of selfless service as they came together to help families in need.
Sorting Food: One Can at a Time
On four separate days over the course of four weeks in October and November 2023, Melaleuca Team Members volunteered their time to help the Community Food Basket sort canned food and organize food in their warehouse.
These service projects were needed after four massive food drives caused the nonprofit to receive an overwhelming flood of donations. With over 75,000 pounds of food, 141 Melaleuca volunteers gave of their time to sort virtually all of it and to assemble 500 holiday dinner boxes.
But this accomplishment isn’t about the numbers. It’s about what those numbers represent—thousands of families being fed during the holidays!
Notably, Melaleuca created and paid for advertising campaigns to support these four food drives, encouraging community members to generously donate to the Community Food Bank.
Though the warehouse work was straightforward, this service was a lifeline for families in need, ensuring they receive nourishment as quickly as possible. After all, if Melaleuca hadn’t stepped up, the nonprofit might not have been able to distribute it for another two or three months.
Melaleuca CEO Jerry Felton knows that volunteerism is just one avenue that displays Melaleuca’s mission to enhance lives.
“There is something good for the soul when we physically serve others, and those feelings quickly emerged as we dove into this special project,” Felton says. “Melaleuca Team Members are eager to give of themselves, with many having donated their personal time and money over the years to this organization that feeds families with empty pantries. This was a rewarding opportunity to give back to our community and enjoy each other’s company.”
The Community Food Basket expressed their gratitude, saying that Melaleuca’s volunteers completed weeks of work within hours!
“This nonprofit runs very lean, so Melaleuca’s energetic volunteers saved us from months of sorting cans, which means we can distribute this inventory faster than ever before,” says Ariel Jackson, executive director of the Community Food Basket. “Beyond this work, Melaleuca has helped us purchase this very warehouse, bought several freezers, promoted food drives across the region, and even built a shop for those to make food donations after business hours. Melaleuca is one of our best partners!”
Enjoying the Spirit of Service
Jenny Christiansen, a purchasing manager, was grateful for the opportunity to join the project. “Not only was it great to serve the community,” she said, “but I loved working alongside so many coworkers, some of which I had not met before. I absolutely love that Melaleuca has given us time to participate in the community where it counts.”
Dave Martineau, director of policy, agrees. He was equally impressed by the community’s generosity in donating over 75,000 pounds of food.
“Witnessing the tidal wave of donations pouring in for those in need was remarkable,” says Martineau, “and working alongside the Melaleuca family was an honor. The hard work and efficiency we are known for was on full display as the team accomplished an extraordinary amount of work in a very short period of time! It was so much fun!”
Melaleuca’s History of Feeding the Hungry
Melaleuca has a history of feeding hungry families, and it enjoys vibrant partnerships with nonprofits around the country that specialize in this cause. A few of these nonprofits are Feeding America, The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, St. Vincent de Paul, the United Way, Chef Hui-Hawaii, and the Idaho Food Bank.
The Community Food Basket is one of these nonprofits that, among other things, ensures that families, especially children, have food during times of hardship. The food bank has been operating for more than 40 years and provides nourishment for 1,500 to 1,600 families each month.
The Community Food Basket’s efforts extend far beyond their own pantry shelves. The organization provides snacks for schoolchildren in need, while storing and distributing supplies to 22 other food pantries and nonprofits throughout the region.
Melaleuca’s past work with Community Food Basket has included sponsoring food drives, donating refrigerators and freezers, and constructing an after-hours drop-off facility so hungry families can take food if needed. Last year, Melaleuca surprised the Community Food Basket with a $50,000 check that paid off the remaining mortgage balance on their 22,000-square-foot food storage warehouse.
Removing the shackles of a mortgage payment freed up $3,000 each month for Community Food Basket, which it has been able to use to feed and help even more families!
Melaleuca Volunteers Clean the Riverbanks
Earlier this year, roughly 300 Melaleuca Team Members took time out of their busy work schedules to help clean up the banks of the Snake River near downtown Idaho Falls, Idaho. The Melaleuca volunteers worked alongside the city’s Parks and Recreation department.
The service project covered about two-and-a-half miles on both sides of the river and included pruning overgrowth, picking up debris, and doing other landscaping work. The efforts breathed new life into River Walk.
After everything was cleared, the City of Idaho Falls said it was the largest service project in the history of the city.