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Future Foam Makes an Impact in Our Community

Future Foam Makes an Impact in Our Community
March 14, 2018 BusinessesVolunteersFood PantryCanstruction

In 2014, a manager from Future Foam, a producer of high-quality materials for homes ranging from premium carpet cushions to mattress toppers and pillows, met with MOM staff and explained that the leadership of Future Foam wanted to promote volunteerism among its workforce and was anxious to get involved in volunteering at MOM. Since that meeting, Future Foam has demonstrated this commitment by providing a weekly Food Pantry volunteer, gleaning vegetables every fall, and helping with our Special Events.

One way Future Foam employees have helped is by volunteering as Client Hosts in our food pantry every week. Client Hosts provide one-on-one, caring assistance to MOM clients as they “shop” for food. It isn’t easy for a business to make the sacrifice to allow an employee to be out of the office one morning each week all year round. But Future Foam has done that—and more—for three years. Future Foam employees have accumulated nearly 300 service hours at MOM. Several Future Foam employees arranged their workdays so that they could rotate into one volunteer shift each week. It is obvious from this ongoing commitment that Future Foam has made volunteerism part of their work culture not only through talking about the importance of volunteering and social impact, but by following through with their actions. By making volunteering part of what they do all the time, instead of just an occasional big project, they enable their employees to become more integrated into our organization, to understand our work better, and to have a larger impact because of their consistency.

Many food pantries like ours are in particular need of donated fresh produce. A group of Future Foam employees have spent a day each fall digging up and picking vegetables that would otherwise be destroyed from a local farm to be donated to MOM. Their employees harvested and donated 1,500 pounds of produce in 2014, 1,600 pounds in 2015, and 2,200 pounds in 2017.

Future Foam has helped with MOM's signature annual event, Canstruction® for the past several years. Canstruction Madison  brings together teams of volunteers from businesses, churches, schools and organizations to build giant structures out of canned goods and packaged food at West Towne Mall. The teams compete for awards—but the primary goal is to end hunger in our community. After the week-long event ends, all food is donated to the MOM Food Pantry to help stock the shelves. One of the most important logistic pieces in the event is to move this nonperishable food—which typically weighs in at over 20 tons—from the West Towne Mall into a donated semi-truck to be taken to the MOM Food Pantry in a timely and organized fashion. Future Foam has been instrumental in making this happen for the past three years. It would be easy for the group to see this as not as fun as some of the other tasks at Canstruction (like actually building the structures!) but the group of volunteers from Future Foam always seems to find ways to enjoy themselves. In fact, while they are waiting for the truck’s arrival, they usually discuss additional ways they can help MOM and the community we serve. 

One year after Canstruction had just wrapped up, Future Foam employees moved the donated nonperishable food, using manual pallet jacks, to Dick's Sporting Goods (at the mall). The food, consisting of 22 pallets each weighing in at around 2,000 lbs, had been temporarily stacked in the shopping aisles at Dick's, waiting to be moved onto a truck before the store opened and customers arrived.  Anyone who has managed large events knows that no matter how well you plan, sometimes you encounter a bump in the road. And that’s what happened that year. The Future Foam volunteers waited patiently for the truck—but it didn’t come. With the store scheduled to open soon, the Future Foam volunteers improvised. Without one word of complaint, they moved the pallets from the store aisles, using manual pallet jacks, to the other side of the mall. They were smiling every step of the way, and not once suggested that this extra work was an inconvenience. Then, Future Foam took their problem solving even one step further. The following year, the Future Foam team arranged for the use of their own semi-truck to move the food to the Food Pantry at no cost to MOM. 

 

Future Foam has been a dedicated and consistent supporter of MOM for more than three years. We are grateful for the time, energy and thought they put into making our community better for everyone.

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