Ethics and Modern Day Business
Lisa M. Brown
Personal and Organizational Ethics (BSM1249A)
Prof. Stacy Hiles
January 19, 2013
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In the twenty first century, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of rules and regulations that apply to businesses. Large or small, corporations or mom-and-pop shops, profit or non-profit; all of these types of businesses are run based on ethical obligations that they have to their customers, employees, and the business sectors. Some of the ethical dilemmas a business may face are fairly simple to resolve, while solutions are not so black and white. In this article, I will examine both a profit and not-for-profit organization. I will provide details on their company’s history, as well as provide insight on a recent ethical dilemma the company is facing. Finally, I will summarize my personal perspectives on the issues and provide insight on what I feel would be the best solution.
SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK
Second Harvest Food Bank was established in 1978, with its headquarters located in Phoenix, Arizona. They have many major branches throughout the United States, with one major office located in Nashville, Tennessee. Today, Second Harvest in middle Tennessee is one of the largest of their two hundred centers nationwide. Their mission is to “feed hungry people and work to solve hunger issues in our community.” (second harvest web, 2013) Their goals are to feed one out of the six individuals that go hungry every day and strongly believe in educating members of the community in proper nutrition and how to grow their own food.
Second Harvest offers many different types of programs to help low income families and senior citizens supplement their income to feed their family. Their staff of eighty five employees operate a co-op where Second Harvest grows and delivers produce to needy families; they’ve established an emergency food delivery process, and also provide snacks and meals for children in after school programs that might not otherwise get an evening meal.
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Second Harvest is able to sustain their operations through donations that come via monetary, food, or volunteers. Second Harvest will partner with many local businesses to drive up their donations. For example, Nissan, Inc. partnered with Second Harvest and matched a dollar for every dollar that the community donated, up to $100,000, for two weeks during December, 2012. They also set up different campaigns throughout the year to bring in more funding by hosting a First Harvest Café luncheon where patrons can get a gourmet lunch for $12. All of these proceeds go back into funding Second Harvest for fiscal the year. During the 2011-2012 fiscal year, Second Harvest distributed over “nineteen million pounds of food to 400 partnering agencies providing more than 16 million meals to hungry men, women and children throughout the 46- county service area.” (www.second harvest.com, 2013) They are listed as tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code under section 501© (3) and ninety six percent of their revenue goes directly into supporting the food bank.
The end of April, 2010 was a very rough time for Second Harvest. Due to heavy rains, there was major flooding for the city of Nashville that lasted for a few weeks. Hundreds of people lost their homes and businesses or sustained major damage to them. Second Harvest wasn’t spared by this natural disaster. Because of the flooding, their docking stations lost all of