What if 1% of the proceeds from certain food manufacturers were donated to alleviate/prevent world hunger?

Read the story of Hallel and Aliza Abramowitz-Silverman, daughters of Yosef and Rabbi Susan Silverman (of Jewish Family and Life Network and socialaction.com fame):

As young children they observed that certain food items seemed to be more desirable because food manufacturers (in this case Paul Newman and his spaghetti sauce) were committed to donating proceeds from the sale of the product. They also noticed that the small kosher symbol found on many food products provides a meaningful way to identify kosher products. With youthful creativity, they proposed that all foods carry a symbol indicating that the manufacturer donates proceeds to feed hungry people.

No monetary donation necessary; just your pledge to buy products with this “world manna” symbol.

3 thoughts on “WorldManna.org

  1. Occasionally,
    Israeli food companies pull this shtick and claim that 50 agorot will be donated to this or that cause for every pack of cheese or hot dogs. I say, reduce the price by 50 ag. and let me decide where to give my monthly tzedakah.
    If I remember correctly, corporate social responsibility is not considered tzedekah or hesed either. Corporate social responsibility is purely to give back something to the community in order to build better customer relations.
    Furthermore, we know that every company has profit or sales targets. This 1% will just increase these objectives.
    Last, but not least, we should listen to our parents and learn to put on our plate only what we need, and learn not to throw out food because you don’t have to go all the way to Africa to see kids starving, they exist in your own neighbourhood. 25% of world Jewry lives under in poverty (sorry I never kept the URL)

  2. I wholeheartedly disagree. You’re right that this is in part a marketing technique. But to say that coporations have no social responsibility is silly– corporate donations are vital to all sorts of important causes, like medical research and the arts. It’s great that you give tzedaka, but I don’t believe that the masses would do the same if given some extra dough in their pocket. They’d probably spend it. Coporations aren’t inherently evii constructs– they can do a lot of good, and we should be glad for it. (They can also do a lot of bad, yes, I know). Considering the amount of attention Judaism gives to business ethics, this idea should be pretty readily apparent…

  3. “Considering the amount of attention Judaism gives to business ethics, this idea should be pretty readily apparent…”
    It’s not so apparent because the purpose of a corporation is profit, and unless each owner (shareholder) agrees to a given charitable donation (nearly impossible in a large, publicly-held organization), the decision to make the donation by the executive or by the Board of Directors amounts to one person giving away someone else’s money, which is itself immoral. Of course, if the donation’s purpose is to achieve some practical benefit for the company, then this problem goes away. Certainly, this notion that it’s immoral to donate unless there’s an ulterior motive is anti-intuitive and contrary to the morality that applies to persons, but corporations are a different animal.
    The bottom line here (no pun intended) is that it’s good to encourage the public to favor those corporations that donate, and to encourage the shareholders to donate their profits (dividends, proceeds of sale of stock). But to go further than this is to be like the proverbial liberal – someone who would give you the shirt off someone else’s back.
    None of this is to disparage corporations – I’m strongly pro-business, and I think the concept of incorporation is vital to prosperity. Corporations provide a great deal of our jobs, wealth, and tax revenue, which is their function. Charity, however, is not their responsibility, and is better effected through government, religious and social organizations, and individuals, as the case may be.

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