The award was presented to Al Gaylor, Sysco's vice president of industry relations and diversity, at a gala program at The Hilton Americas, where the country's leading distributorship was one of four honorees, including Houston Mayor Bill White.
Sysco was chosen for outstanding service provided by immediately meeting the needs of people affected, according to statements by the League and the distributor.
These efforts included converting a large Sysco trailer into a mobile kitchen that was donated to the American Red Cross by Sysco's 14 Southwest Region companies. With the much-needed addition of the mobile kitchen, the Red Cross, in conjunction with Sysco, provided 8,000 meals per day to individuals affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
In Beaumont, Texas, and Lake Charles, LA, dinner entrees included lemon pepper fish, beef brisket, pot roast and an assortment of vegetables and fresh fruit. Lunches featured simpler, more easy-to-handle fare, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, barbeque beef and chicken tenders.
Additionally, a major Sysco supplier donated $1 million in canned fruit products, which the distributor assisted in distributing to hurricane relief shelters throughout the Gulf Coast region.
As for relief efforts in Houston, Sysco and several of its supplier partners contributed approximately 400,000 pieces of fresh fruit, fresh potatoes and vegetables, and more than 10,000 pounds of ground beef, which was prepared by local area restaurants for distribution to Houston area relief shelters.
Additionally, Sysco's New Orleans operating company contributed more than $350,000 in food products to relief shelters in the affected areas, while many of the Sysco companies across North America donated products, time, people and equipment to help the efforts of the American Red Cross and other relief programs across the country.
Sysco employees also donated $354,000, which Sysco augmented by $150,000, to help fellow Sysco associates, who were directly impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
Sysco Chairman, ceo and President Rick Schnieders observed, "In the communities in which we live and work, we've come to be known as a supportive partner dedicated to helping build stronger neighborhoods, promote higher education among people of color and encourage greater diversity all across our industry. Through corporate donations, employee volunteer initiatives and fundraising partnerships, Sysco's commitment to social responsibility is making a difference every day in our communities across the country."