If you weren’t familiar with the Nissan name well you must be living under a rock. Since 1958 Nissan has been in the USA with the introduction of its first car the Datsun, from there Nissan has made a variety of different cars, trucks, and SUVs.
Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Canton, Mississippi where Nissan has a production plant and I was there for the new unveiling of its all-new 2022 Nissan Frontier. While visiting Canton I also got to see a lot of what Nissan does behind the scenes when it comes to the Nissan Foundation.
Over its 29-year history, the Nissan Foundation has awarded more than $13 million to approximately 150 organizations promoting respect and understanding among cultural and ethnic groups.
The mission of the Nissan Foundation – to build community by valuing cultural diversity – is as relevant today as it was in 1992 when it was founded. Formed in response to the civil unrest that occurred near Nissan North America’s then U.S. sales operations in Southern California following the Rodney King trial verdict, the Nissan Foundation has annually awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to nonprofit organizations that support the Foundation’s mission.
While in Canton I had the opportunity to visit non-profits that the Nissan Foundation helps. One being the Mississippi history and Civil Rights Museum and the Mississippi Food Network. Both were incredible places with many stories to tell.
Walking into the civil rights museum you appreciate the amount of information and truths the children of Mississippi and the world are able to see from what once was and where we are today.
“For nearly 30 years, the Nissan Foundation has been committed to amplifying the efforts of nonprofit organizations doing the important work of sharing diverse cultural perspectives and experiences with communities across the country,” said Parul Bajaj, senior manager, Nissan Philanthropy. “At perhaps no other time in recent history has the work of Two Mississippi Museums been so critical. We are proud to support their efforts to inspire people to embrace the value of our differences.”
The funds will be used to defray costs such as admission, travel, and on-site lunches for students. I don’t know about you but when one of the largest automakers in the world is able to give back like this I have my faith restored back in humanity.
The same goes for the Mississippi Food Network the Network (MFN) has been feeding Mississippians since 1984. MFN distributes more than 1.5 million pounds of food and feeds more than 150,000 every month — or a total of 1.8 million people per year. MFN takes donations from multiple sources and distributes food and goods through 430 member agencies. They, in turn, distribute to recipients in their own communities.
While at MFN I had the privilege of being able to prepare backpacks for the kids of Mississippi, and of course with the help of the Nissan Foundation.
This program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations. Backpacks are filled with food and snacks, and then discreetly distributed to children on the last day before a weekend or holiday vacation. The children are then assured of some proper nutrition while away from their meal programs at school. MFN provides approximately 1,500 backpack meals to children each week during the school year through our participating sites.
The Nissan Foundation continues to help communities throughout different states across the U.S But the Canton plant itself has been able to also be a part of the community as a whole by supporting more than 200 organizations that help serve the area including Habitat for Humanity, Mississippi Food Network, Community Stewpot, Our Daily Bread, United Way, area school districts and colleges, Boys and Girls Clubs, 100 Black Men, Mississippi Children’s Museum, Mission Mississippi, the Natural Science Museum and the Nature Conservancy.