Jersey City-based Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic owned food company in the United States, has launched the second phase of its global initiative that brings together business and community organizations to fight child trafficking.
Goya hosted a press conference on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Jan. 11, 2023, to roll out Phase 2 of its Goya Cares initiative, which will support access to prevention education, provide training for school administrators and help facilitate lessons for students.
“At the center of Goya Cares is a heart. Together, we must continue to fight and bring the child back to the center of our care and concern so that they may have hope and the opportunity to live in a world where their life is valued and their freedom is a reality,” said Bob Unanue, Goya Foods president & CEO.
According to the U.S. Department of State, more than 27.6 million people — adults and children — are victims of human trafficking, which includes forced labor and sexual exploitation. In the United States, California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and New York have the highest rates of human trafficking and half of the victims are children.
“We are honored to partner with Goya Cares to deliver the Monique Burr Foundation for Children’s evidence-based and trauma-informed curriculum to nearly 25,000 students,” said Tanya Ramos Puig, CEO of The Monique Burr Foundation.
“The curriculum educates and empowers children and adults in their lives to keep them safe from abuse, bullying, online exploitation, and human trafficking,” Puig said. “Together, we will educate and protect our most vulnerable citizens.”
Phase II of Goya Cares also includes a cause-related marketing campaign, the placement of a Goya Cares QR code on 30 million cans of Goya’s top-selling beans that leads to the Human Trafficking Hotline on goyacares.com, the development of new content and videos for social media in order to reach a younger audience, and the expansion of the Goya Cares coalition.
The Goya Cares coalition is made up of organizations and businesses that recover, restore, and reunite survivors as well as raise awareness, and provide preventative education including: The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), Monique Burr Foundation, National Supermarket Association (NSA), SOMOS Healthcare, New York City Schools, Croatian Relief Services, Inc., Face of Justice, Catholic Charities of San Antonio, NYC Hotel Association, Covenant House, U.S. Homeland Security for Investigations, New York City Department of Education, Jersey City Public School District, Newark Public School District, and the Center for Safety and Change, Operation Underground Railroad, Aerial Recovery, The Knights of Columbus, Maestro Cares Foundation, Cornerstone Institute, Hope Rising, Salt & Light Coalition, Center for Countering Human Trafficking, Wonder Girls USA, Kristi House, Eyes on Me, The Eric Chase Foundation, YMCA of Greater Houston, Northwell Health, and Fight for Us.
For more information, please visit: www.goyacares.com
Photo caption: Jose Antonio Fernandez, President & CEO of Catholic Charities of San Antonio; Father Giordano Belanich, Croatian Relief Services, Inc.; Darren McCormack, Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations; Bob Unanue, President & CEO of Goya Foods; Elizabeth Gilroy, Founder and President of Face of Justice; Dr. Norma Fernandez, Superintendent of Jersey City Public Schools; Tanya Ramos-Puig, CEO at Monique Burr Foundation; and Bob Cunningham, CEO of International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) at the Goya Cares press conference in New York City to support Human Trafficking Awareness Day.