As the CEO of a major American food processing company, Sheldon Lavin has made major contributions to charity both through the direct policies of his company, OSI Group, and from his seat on the board of Ronald McDonald House (RMHC).
RMHC is the philanthropic arm of McDonald’s restaurants. Sheldon Lavin’s position on the board is a natural position for him considering the decades-long relationship between OSI Group and McDonald’s. In fact, it was the forerunner company of OSI that supplied the very first franchise model of McDonald’s with all its burger patties. That was in 1955. The McDonald’s was located in Des Plaines, Illinois.
Today, RMHC has a local chapter in 64 countries. More than $300 million has been collected in RMHC collection boxes. This has enabled the charity to serve millions of children and families worldwide. Sheldon Lavin is proud of the work he has done to help RMHC become among the premier charity organizations in the world.
But as the leader of OSI Group, Sheldon Lavin has also instilled his own organization with a culture of giving back to the communities where the company operates. That includes some 70 locations in 17 nations. In every one of those locations, OSI Group and its employees challenge themselves to get involved in local efforts to help disadvantaged people.
One of the organizations that OSI Group works with is Feeding America. This organization is a nationwide network of food banks that serves almost 50 million people with food shelves, soup kitchens and shelters. As a food processor, Sheldon Lavin thinks it’s only natural that his company should bolster the efforts of Feeding America.
To this end, OSI has worked with the Northern Illinois Food Bank located near the OSI corporate office in Aurora. OSI took a total of 252,781 pounds of surplus product from its facilities and donated it to feed food-insecure families in 2015. That bested the 2014 donation of 226,834 pounds.
In addition, OSI conducted several volunteer nights at the Food Bank that involved participation from corporate and local plant employees. That netted some 200 volunteer hours in 2015.