Doing good on a grand scale is all in a day’s work for Richard McNary, who heads up the meetings industry effort for
The Outreach Program, a nonprofit organization that enlists meetings delegates, among others, for CSR teambuilding activities that create
meals for the needy on an industrial scale.
“We will package around 45 million
meals, and facilitate the packaging of them,
around the U.S. in a year,” McNary said.
“And we work with literally hundreds of
thousands of volunteers. Our events are
fun—anyone of any age and skillset can
do them. They’re all in climate-controlled
environments and we travel to the location
Although The Outreach Program primar-
ily works to combat U.S. hunger, the orga-
nization had its beginnings in Africa. After
retiring, founders Floyd Hammer and Kathy
Hamilton parlayed their success owning the
first recycling plant in the U.S. to bring food,
water purification technology, medical care
and education to rural Tanzania.
“They watched five kids actually die
because of hunger,” McNary said of the
founders, who received the 5,000th Daily
Point of Light Award, presented by pres-
idents Barack Obama and George H. W.
Bush, for their efforts.
Meetings CSR Programs
While The Outreach Program still brings
life-saving relief to Africa, its efforts in the
U.S. are the most relevant to North American meetings CSR teambuilding programs.
“We divide our volunteers up into two
different groups,” McNary said. “We have
our volunteer staff; they help us manage the
event that day, and we have three differ-
ent groups for attendee participants: table
leader, runners and heavy lifters—they’re
doing the backbone of getting the product
to the tables, away from the tables and
working with the people. We have 10 people
on a packing line and they will package on
average 2,000 meals an hour, per line.”
The Outreach Program bases the cost of
its program on a per-meal price of 30 cents
per meal, and also offers “do-it-yourself”
kits for groups as small as 10.
“Or we can accommodate up to 10,000,”
An Impressive Client List
McNary said. “We’re scalable and replicable.”
Because it is a 501(c)( 3) organization, the
cost of the program fits well into philan-
thropic, teambuilding, employee engage-
ment and marketing budgets.
Recent groups who have participated in
an Outreach program include Hasbro,
John Deere, United Way Worldwide, the
National Council of State Legislatures and
9/ 11Day.org, which held an event on the
retired USS Intrepid aircraft carrier, now
named The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Mu-
seum Complex, on New York City’s Hudson
River on September 11, 2018.
The organization has also operated programs in Canada and the Caribbean.
“People can also help Africa,” McNary
added. “We have two children’s feeding
centers where we provide children a school
uniform, a meal and a tutor so they will
attend the local school.”
Besides performing good deeds in feed-
ing the hungry, the activity always puts a
premium on fun, with the option of hiring
a DJ available as an add-on.
“And boy, it makes all the difference,”
McNary said of pumping up the volume
during the activity.
Besides being a job, feeding the hungry
is also a calling for McNary, who has been
with The Outreach Program for six years.
“I began working in the hunger space
after a 5-year-old starving girl in Nicaragua
crawled up into my arms and asked me to
feed her in 2001,” he said. “I’ve done a lot
of international relief work, but what I love
best is giving people practical activities to
do something about hunger, and that’s why
I love meal packaging.”
The Outreach Program serves up CSR that feeds the soul
By Tyler Davidson
S? CONTACT KATE.CRIPE@MEETINGSTODAY.COM
THE OUTREACH PROGRAM