Fighting hunger in Mexico  

Cargill joins national campaign to fight hunger in drought-stricken Northern Mexico


Learn how Cargill Mexico joined a national campaign to fight hunger in Northern Mexico by donating corn, edible oil and sugar.


March 2012 – In December, the Mexican government announced that five of its northern states were facing the worst drought since rainfall totals were first recorded 71 years ago. The weather has had a severe impact on cattle and crops, including corn, beans and oats. News reports estimate that the drought has now lasted 18 months in the states of Chihuahua and Durango, and thousands of people in the region are hunger-stricken.

In response, Cargill joined 46 other companies and non-governmental organizations, the Mexican Red Cross and the Office of the First Lady in Mexico City to provide in-kind food donations.

Por la Sequía, Unidos por Ellos 
(Amidst the Drought, Together for Them)

The campaign, called “Por la Sequía, Unidos por Ellos” or “Amidst the Drought, Together for Them,” collected donations from corporations and private citizens between January and early March for distribution to impacted families.

“Bringing together the government, private companies and our national food banks association, we have succeeded in efficiently collecting and working to equitably distribute more than 400 tons of food to those most affected by the continuing drought,” explained José Antonio Magdaleno Velasco, CEO of the Mexican Food Banks Association (AMBA). “We expect the food donations to benefit more than 48,000 people.”

Donating corn, edible oil and sugar
Donating corn, edible oil and sugar.
Cargill provided a food donation worth $24,000, consisting of corn, edible oil and sugar.

Cargill provided a food donation worth $24,000, consisting of 55 metric tons of corn (about 121,250 pounds), two metric tons of edible oil (about 4,400 pounds) and one metric ton of sugar (about 2,200 pounds). The donation is distributed in bags donated by Cargill Animal Nutrition by AMBA in the northwestern state of Chihuahua.

The donated food traveled by truck or rail from Mexico City to its final destination. When it arrived, volunteers packed the large containers of corn and sugar into smaller bags for distribution. The large containers of oil were also packaged into smaller bottles that would be easier for distribution centers to manage.

“After learning about the impact that the drought and cold weather were having on the people in Northern Mexico, our employees knew we had to do something to help,” said Valeria Olson, director of corporate affairs for Cargill in Mexico. “It was important to us that the food be distributed to the most vulnerable families.”

Feeding families
Fighting hunger in Mexico.
Upon arriving in Chihuahua, AMBA distributed the supplies to area food pantries.

Upon arriving in Chihuahua, AMBA distributed the supplies to area food pantries. Recipients were selected based on their level of need.

During a distribution event in the city of Creel, a woman named Simuchi told staffers that she had walked 7.5 miles to the distribution center to pick up the food for her family. However, she went on to explain why it was worth the effort.

“The food provided by Cargill will feed my family for one week,” said Simuchi. “Though I cannot speak to everyone at the company, I would like to thank each and every employee!”

In addition, AMBA will receive an additional corporate donation from Cargill of $24,000 to purchase more food, water and other necessities, such as blankets and clothing, to distribute in the impacted region.