Nissan: Nissan engineers harvest NTCNA Organic Garden for food pantry

  • Nissan employees delivered more than 2,500 lbs. of fresh produce to Hospitality House Food Pantry in Commerce Township in 2018
  • Nissan donated a NV Cargo Van to the charity, allowing the organization to expand services in 2017

FARMINGTON HILLS, MICH. – Instead of socializing in the cafeteria during lunch, a group of employees at Nissan Technical Center North America (NTCNA) slip on gardening boots and head outside to get their hands in the dirt for a heartwarming cause.

At least twice a week, gardening volunteers are sowing seeds, mulching, picking weeds and harvesting zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers and other vegetables from the NTCNA Organic Garden, located just outside Nissan’s North American research and development (R&D) headquarters, where more than 1,200 employees work.

After harvesting, the crew transports the bounty in a volunteer’s Nissan vehicle to Hospitality House Food Pantry in Commerce Township, about five miles away.

“At Nissan, we encourage our employees to be ambassadors in the community,” said Takeshi Yamaguchi, senior vice president, Research and Development, Nissan Technical Center North America. “Besides providing fresh and healthy food for locals in need, the organic garden allows our engineers to get outside during their busy work days, which can relieve stress and boost morale. Nissan is proud to support their efforts and the Hospitality House Food Pantry.”

Hospitality House is a client-choice charity that serves more than 500 households in Oakland County. The pantry allows patrons to choose items from aisles of donated groceries. Nissan has been providing fresh produce for several years.

In addition to food donations, Nissan donated an NV Cargo Van to Hospitality House in 2017, which enabled the food pantry to expand its services, including providing milk for its patrons for the first time.

“We’ve never been in a position to acquire large, vast amounts of free food because we didn’t have the resource to get it,” said Donovan Neal, executive director of Hospitality House Food Pantry. “As a result of this van, we’ve been able to take advantage of free food that’s available to us from food banks and load up this van with gallons and gallons of milk. Without that van, we weren’t able to do that before. We can’t thank Nissan enough.”

Even during Michigan’s harsh winter months, the gardening crew is still at work – drafting grids, selecting plants and developing harvesting schedules for the following year. The strategic planning has been fruitful as the garden continues to provide more vegetables for the pantry each year.

Bob Schuler, a Nissan engineer who has been involved with the NTCNA Organic Garden for four years, says 2018 is the garden’s most productive year yet with more than 2,500 lbs. pounds of produce donated by mid-September.

“This is our small contribution to the charity,” Schuler said. “It’s humbling. Some patrons pull vegetables out of the box as we’re delivering it. They recognize what we’re producing is fresh – right off the vine.”

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About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and INFINITI vehicles can be found online at www.nissanusa.com and www.infinitiusa.com, or visit the U.S. media sites nissannews.com and infinitinews.com.

About Nissan Motor Co.
Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, INFINITI and Datsun brands. In fiscal year 2017, the company sold 5.77 million vehicles globally, generating revenue of 11.9 trillion yen. On April 1, 2017, the company embarked on Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022, a six-year plan targeting a 30% increase in annualized revenues to 16.5 trillion yen by the end of fiscal 2022, along with cumulative free cash flow of 2.5 trillion yen. As part of Nissan M.O.V.E. to 2022, the company plans to extend its leadership in electric vehicles, symbolized by the world’s best-selling all-electric vehicle in history, the Nissan LEAF. Nissan’s global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, manages operations in six regions: Asia & Oceania; Africa, the Middle East & India; China; Europe; Latin America; and North America. Nissan has partnered with French manufacturer Renault since 1999 and acquired a 34% stake in Mitsubishi Motors in 2016. Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is today the world’s largest automotive partnership, with combined sales of more than 10.6 million vehicles in calendar year 2017.

For more information about our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit nissan-global.com. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.

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