NOW® Foods has been recognized for the company’s extensive charitable contributions by Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ), the leading business publication for the nutrition, natural, organic, dietary supplement and integrative medicine industries.
Each year, NBJ recognizes the industry's most notable business leaders in its annual Business Achievement Awards issue. NOW Foods received an honorable mention in the 2014 awards for the company’s philanthropic efforts, including contributions in excess of $1 million to charities that support local and worldwide needs, disaster relief and environmental conservation.
“Social responsibility is at the core of NOW Foods’ management philosophy, and charitable giving is one way we give back to the community. It also supports our mission to empower people to lead healthier lives,” said NOW Health Group CEO Jim Emme.
NOW Foods has long had a reputation for giving back to the community, and as the company continues to grow, the amount increases. Philanthropy at NOW is driven by the Richard family’s inherent belief in their duty to assist those less fortunate. In 2014 NOW contributed to charities in three areas: Local Needs, World Needs/Disaster Relief, and Environmental/Conservation.
NOW’s philanthropic program is well-defined: the board has a charitable committee to oversee donations to 15 different charities, with each one having a designated advocate on the board to stay informed about each organization. The company supports organizations that need the support, rather than those that have enough money to fund their programs for years already, and that demonstrate that most donations actually go to the cause rather than marketing or salaries.
NOW Foods donates to many local, national and international non-profit causes and organizations including: Compassion International, Nourish America, National Resources Defense Council, The Conservation Foundation, Meal-A-Day of the Americas, DuPage Community Clinic, Feeding America, Hephzibah Children’s Association, The Life Center, The Nature Conservancy of Illinois, People’s Resource Center, SCARCE, Vitamin Angels, WCF Community Services and World Relief.
International groups include two in India, one of which provides a Meal A Day to homeless children, and a leper colony. Hunger relief programs in South America are also an area of focus.
They also have an Employee Matching Program for the charities so that if an employee wants to donate to a cause important to them NOW will deduct the money out of their paycheck and match the donation 100%. They also have an employee match for local and worldwide disasters. In the last year they sent money to the Balkans for flood relief, to the Philippines for hurricane relief and to a town in Illinois for tornado relief. Some employees have had relatives in the disaster areas and provide first hand reports on how much the relief effort meant to them. There are four or more employee drives every year for things like Christmas gifts, food drives, recycled shoes, etc.
Recently, NOW Foods was recognized by the March of Dimes for their donation of folic acid to the Hispanic Women’s Initiative Project. Because information on the risk of neural tube defects is lacking among Latina women, birth defects are 40% higher among them. The March of Dimes administers this program not only to provide information on the risks of birth defects, but also to supply affordable folic acid to Hispanic communities. This donation supplied March of Dimes distribution centers in Chicago for several months.
NOW assisted the humanitarian efforts ongoing in Ghana by donating bottles of Vitamin A with folic acid. Vitamin A deficiency in third world countries is an epidemic that claims thousands of lives every year, especially children.