Giving Back to Our Communities
We strive to make a positive difference. Flowers’ charitable giving and volunteer efforts focus on feeding families, helping children, and supporting U.S. service members and veterans.
We encourage our bakeries to support their local communities. We’re proud of their contributions in 2022.
In 2022, our bakeries donated more than $7.3 million* in fresh and recovery bakery food products to Feeding America, independent food banks, soup kitchens, and other groups providing meals and food to those in need. Recovery donations are an integral part of our food waste prevention and are comprised of warehouse inventory nearing the end of its life cycle.
Flowers is a Guiding Partner of Feeding America. Guiding Partners make aggregate annual contributions or commitments of $250,000 or more, donations of 2.5 million pounds or more of food and grocery products, or combined gifts of $150,000 or more and 1.5 million pounds or more of food and grocery products.
As part of the Wonder® brand’s participation in the 96th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the brand collaborated with Feeding America to donate 10,000 loaves of its Classic White Bread to City Harvest, New York’s first and largest food rescue organization, for the 2022 holiday season.
On Thanksgiving morning, Wonder debuted “The Wondership,” a whimsical, one-of-a-kind airship float that pays homage to the hot air balloon race that originally inspired the iconic Wonder branding.
Immediately after Hurricane Ian lashed southwest Florida, we stood ready to help our communities.
Flowers teams joined forces to provide as much product as possible to support recovery efforts throughout the region. Upon resuming normal operations, bakeries in Florida and Thomasville, Georgia, began producing extra product to support the nonprofit organizations, volunteers, customers, and others conducting search and rescue, recovery, and clean-up operations in the hardest hit communities.
Flowers also partnered with Smucker’s to make and donate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches outside a Publix grocery store in Fort Myers to local residents, first responders, Publix employees, and workers who were rebuilding the community.
One of the primary pillars of our community support is charitable activities and donations focused on improving the lives of children.
Individual Flowers locations fund charities that are important to their local communities through company and/or employee donations. In total, Flowers employees allocated more than $65,000 via payroll deduction in 2022 to be donated to various charities – the majority of which were charities that support children.
At multiple Flowers locations, United Way provides a natural partnership to aid those in need. For instance, Flowers Baking Company of San Antonio and its team donated nearly $17,000 to United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County in 2022. The bakery incorporated United Way fundraising activities in many of its employee engagement events throughout the year, including a Christmas tree decorating contest during its annual holiday meal and the sale of branded dry-fit t-shirts.
In 2022, our corporate offices made donations to the local Boys & Girls Club in Thomasville, Georgia, to support experiential, after-school activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Additionally, we provided funding for every eighth-grade student in the Thomasville and Thomas County school systems to visit the Challenger Learning Center in Tallahassee, Florida. Students had the opportunity to become scientists and engineers for the day, conducting space missions on state-of-the-art simulators with a Mission Control room similar to that found at the NASA Johnson Space Center and an orbiting space station modeled after the International Space Station.
Through its “Rise Together” promotion that asked social media followers to vote for a deserving charity, Canyon Bakehouse donated $10,000 to Celiac Strong, a summer camp in Hunt, New York, for kids ages 7 to 16 with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. The camp provides summer activities and a gluten-free environment so kids can have worry-free fun.
Across multiple social media platforms, nearly 80,000 fan votes were cast for the winner and two other gluten-free nonprofits, Mend Hunger and the Food Equality Initiative.
Supporting U.S. Service Members & Veterans
Together, our Wonder and Tastykake brands proudly fulfilled their multi-year commitment to donate $1.8 million to the United Service Organizations (USO) by year-end 2022 and subsequently increased their pledge up to $2.7 million through 2024.
Since 2018, they have partnered with the USO on the “Deploy the Joy” campaign to help provide a variety of programs that keep service members and their families connected throughout the military journey.
USO Military Spouse Networking Program: Provides military spouses the opportunity to build and sustain their social, professional, and community networks, whenever and wherever they move.
USO Military Virtual Programming (MVP) & Entertainment Tours: Provides world-class entertainment to service members and military families.
Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program: Makes it possible for deployed service members to record videos of themselves reading stories to their children and family members.
USO Care Package Program: Provides healthy snack packs and travel-sized hygiene products with toiletry packs to deployed service members
Our corporate office also completed a three-year commitment to Thomas University’s Veteran Transition Program. The program provides military veterans with an education and transition assistance as well as an opportunity to play collegiate football. A $75,000 donation from Flowers is helping launch the school’s inaugural football team in 2023 with seven military veterans and more than two dozen Georgia National Guard members or reservists on the roster.