SOURCE: Bayer CropScience

December 18, 2008 15:44 ET

Employees at Bayer CropScience Doubled Their Annual Donation to the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina During a Friendly Competition

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwire - December 18, 2008) - More than 450 employees at Bayer CropScience raised 3,561 lbs. of food, more than doubling their 2007 contribution, during the company's annual East Wing versus West Wing (of the building) Food Drive competition. This friendly employee competition supports the company's Backpack Program which is administered by the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina. The East Wing pulled out a narrow victory in this year's competition after collecting a mere 15 lbs. more than its West Wing rivals.

"It's very touching to see our employees giving back to our community, especially during tough economic times," said Bill Buckner, President/CEO, Bayer CropScience. "We've hosted this friendly competition for the past three years as a way to get our employees involved with our Bayer CropScience BackPack program since not everyone is able to participate during our volunteer food delivery days with the Food Bank. This gives everyone a chance to get involved, and the 'winning' wing is treated to an ice cream celebration."

The BackPack program was launched to help meet the nutritional needs of children at risk of hunger during non-school hours over weekends and holidays. Bayer CropScience will again make a $50,000 donation which allows the Food Bank to purchase the food, as well as the backpacks, and administer the program at 19 sites in five counties, which serves approximately 655 children.

"Everyone should have access to affordable, nutritious food to grow and develop, so this is just another way for Bayer to support our community," said Peg Cherny, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Communications. "We are fortunate to be part of a company that believes in making a positive difference where we live and work, and this is just one more way our employees can demonstrate that core value."

The Bayer CropScience BackPack program is in its third year, and according to a recent survey conducted by the Food Bank, the program is fulfilling a need. When children are hungry, it is difficult to focus on learning. Of the principals responding to the survey, 94.8 percent agreed that the program has had a positive impact on the academic performance of students participating in the program. One participating principal stated in the survey, "The students enjoyed receiving the book bag and the food, and I can tell it made a difference. The parents have been very appreciative."

"We have children who are in danger of having no food for the weekend," said Jewel Eason, principal of Bunn Elementary School in Franklin County. "This has lifted spirits and allowed them to find a normal way. I appreciate the backpack program because it helps students and families, and it gives them one less thing to worry about."

From September to May, the 2007-2008 academic term, 26,132 backpacks were filled with the assistance of 3,763 hours of volunteer service.

"The Food Bank is extremely grateful for Bayer CropScience's continued sponsorship and support of the BackPack Program," says Peter Werbicki, CEO/President of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. "Their support enables hundreds of children throughout our service territory to receive nutritious, easy-to-prepare meals over the weekend, which allows them to be ready and prepared to be active participants in the learning process on Monday."

For more information on how to volunteer and support the BackPack program, please contact J. Caprice Brown, Outreach, Evaluations & Programs Manager at 919-865-3037 or via email at

Editor's note: Further details on the survey results and photos are available upon request.

About Bayer CropScience

Bayer CropScience LP is the U.S. business of Bayer CropScience AG. Bayer AG is a global research-based and growth-oriented enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 5.7 billion (2006), is one of the world's leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of about 17,900 and is represented in more than 120 countries.

About the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina

The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is a nonprofit organization that provides food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina. The Food Bank serves a network of nearly 900 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults. In fiscal year 2007-2008, the Food Bank distributed nearly 32 million pounds of food and non-food essentials through these agencies. Sadly, hunger remains a serious problem in central and eastern North Carolina. In these counties, more than 450,000 individuals struggle each day to provide enough food for their families.

About the Bayer CropScience BackPack Program

The BackPack Program is intended to meet the nutritional needs of children. During non-school hours, specifically weekends. The goal of the program is to provide children, who are at risk of hunger, access to nutritious, non-perishable meal components to meet their weekend nutritional needs. Through the program, once each week, children are given special backpacks that are filled with non-perishable food that can be used over the weekend and then the bags are returned Monday and the process repeated.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Beth Roden
    Bayer CropScience
    Email Contact
    (919) 549-2000, office