Secure Foods and Peter Singer's "Famine, Affluence, and Morality"
Updated: Apr 26
The blog post highlights how businesses support their employees during disasters by providing emergency food supplies.
It argues that this is both a moral obligation and a sound business strategy, as nourished employees can perform better and return to work more quickly.
Supporting employees during disasters can also have long-lasting effects on their engagement, productivity, and loyalty.
By providing emergency food supplies, businesses can alleviate stress and uncertainty and demonstrate their commitment to their employees' well-being.
Kwiyoung and I were sitting together reminiscing about the origins of Forever Farms LLC and the Secure Foods Brand. It started during Snowmageddon in Atlanta. To the unprepared city, it came as if with no warning. Thousands of people were stranded on highways, and some friends and I grilled hot dogs and hot chocolate on our pick-up truck to feed people still freezing in their cars.
The next day I spoke with some employees who recounted stories of scared and desperate shoppers snatching bread and milk from their hands in the grocery store. Immediately we went out and bought freeze-dried food, gathered the whole company, and told them, “Please, never get yourself into trouble at a grocery store during an emergency. It isn’t worth it. If this ever happens again, we have a two-week food supply for every person in the company. Just come and get it, then get safe.”
The reality is that disasters can strike at any time, and often the most basic needs become scarce for people – food, water, shelter, and community. Many workers and their families are already struggling to make ends meet, with over half of the country unable to afford a $400 emergency expense for their family.
In disaster-prone areas, many businesses and organizations are caught off-guard, and employees are left to fend for themselves, ending up in FEMA lines for the basics and unable to return to work for days, weeks, and months. Loss of key personnel devastates business continuity leaving both employers and employees in dire situations.
Peter Singer's paper "Famine, Affluence, and Morality" asserts that we have a moral obligation to help those in need and that our actions should not be based solely on proximity or convenience. He argues that "if it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it."
As business owners and leaders, we have the power to help alleviate suffering during disasters. Adding a simple way to support valuable workforce through challenging times can make a positive difference in how companies adapt, manage, and respond to disasters.
Research shows that food directly impacts cognitive performance, which means essential workers in places such as hospitals, nuclear power plants, factories, chemical plants, refineries, need to be able to think clearly and work safely. Furthermore, a nourished workforce may return more quickly to join their work family and rebuild operations to secure their collective jobs, source of income, and co-worker community.
In these uncertain times, how companies treat their employees will be remembered for years to come. According to Forbes, "How you treat your employees will be remembered for years to come...health and well-being, financial stability, and job security are top concerns for employees right now, and employers can help address those fears in meaningful ways.”
That's where Forever Farms LLC and the Secure Foods brand come in. We are dedicated to helping businesses support their employees during disasters by providing nutritious emergency food supplies that are ready to deploy at a moment's notice. Our mission is to inspire organizations to see food's value as insurance for businesses, their employees, and the people they serve.
Together, we can make a difference and ensure no employee is left hungry or worried about their next meal during a disaster.
Back to our origin story, my wife and I continued to witnessing the increasing disasters that devastate the lives of millions of American workers and their families, so we decided that we wanted to do something to help.
We believe businesses can make a positive difference in how they respond to disasters by supporting their employees.
As philosopher Peter Singer argues in his seminal paper, "Famine, Affluence, and Morality," individuals and organizations have a moral obligation to act to prevent or alleviate suffering, particularly when it is within their power to do so. By providing emergency food supplies to employees, businesses can fulfill this obligation and demonstrate their commitment to their employees' well-being.
Perhaps it's not about moral obligation but more about what will support business as well as its employees. According to a Harvard study, food directly impacts cognitive performance. Essential workers must be able to think clearly and work safely. By providing nutritious food to employees during disasters, businesses can ensure that their employees can perform at their best when it matters the most.
Moreover, supporting employees during disasters can have long-lasting effects on employee behavior, including engagement, productivity, and loyalty. Many employees may need access to the necessary resources to prepare for emergencies, such as emergency supplies or backup plans. By providing emergency food supplies, businesses can support their employees and help alleviate some of the stress and uncertainty they may face during disasters.
At Forever Farms LLC, we believe that food can be a powerful form of insurance for businesses, their employees, and the people they serve. Secure Foods offers emergency food supplies specifically designed to meet employees' nutritional needs during disasters. We encourage businesses to proactively support their employees by investing in emergency food supplies and demonstrating their commitment to their employees' well-being.
Disasters are inevitable, but how businesses respond to them is not. By supporting their employees during disasters, businesses can make a positive difference in the lives of their employees and their communities. As Peter Singer reminds us, we have a moral obligation to act when we have the power to prevent or alleviate suffering. Let's ensure we fulfill this obligation and care for our employees when they need us the most.
"Famine, Affluence, and Morality" by Peter Singer: https://www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/1972----.htm
"The Power of Employee Engagement During a Crisis" by Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/03/22/the-power-of-employee-engagement-during-a-crisis/?sh=7d1d49e64078
"The Harvard Gazette: Brain food: What you eat affects how you think" by Harvard University: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2018/04/brain-food-what-you-eat-affects-how-you-think/
"Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2020" by Federal Reserve: https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/2021-economic-well-being-of-us-households-in-2020-preface.htm
"Business Continuity Management: A Crisis Management Approach" by International Labour Organization: https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_dialogue/---sector/documents/publication/wcms_185573.pdf