Cisco Spreads Holiday Cheer, Bolsters Investment in South America

Who says corporations are not people?  Last week Cisco launched its annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign, a holiday season employee giving initiative now in its 10th year. The networking equipment maker set the goal of raising at least $4 million on behalf of 140 international food and water agencies.

Earlier, community manager Kristen Weeks followed up the kick off with a blog post summing up modern day hunger statistics across the globe.

  • In India, where 43 percent of the country’s children are underweight, students line up in their school cafeteria for what may be their only meal of the day.
  • In the United Kingdom, people are exchanging vouchers for food at local food banks. Many of them are employed and living in their own homes, but have felt the effects of reduced wages and benefits, often skipping meals in order to feed their children.
  • In the United States, those who once donated to the local food banks are now accepting donations for their families – something as seemingly small as a necessary car repair can tip someone into food insecurity.

Weeks writes that Cisco is donating money and technology to the Bangalore based Akshaya Patra food air organization, the UK’s Trussell Trust and Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, among other non-profits. The company is also accelerating the Brazilian economy, thanks to a recent $6 million investment in Monashees Capital.

The San Palo-based VC, which was nominated for the Best investor category at TNW Brazil Startup Awards, will re-invest the money in local early-stage tech firms. Cisco has previously invested $15 million in another Brazilian investor, and announced plans to invest nearly $600 million in education through 2015.