Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States, hosted a press conference in New York City on January 11, 2023, to support Human Trafficking Awareness Day and Month.
Through the Goya Cares global initiative, Goya is bringing together community organizations and businesses to show solidarity for one primary cause – to eradicate child trafficking and recognize the growing epidemic, the dangers associated with this epidemic, particularly with children, and the need to raise awareness, and support preventative education.
“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, President & CEO of Goya Foods.
New York, Texas, California, Georgia, and Florida have the highest rate of human trafficking in the United States; half of the victims are children.
According to the Hispanic food company, Goya Cares will roll out phase II of its global initiative to help combat child trafficking in the United States and globally, starting with developing a new curriculum and training school facilitators to teach preventative education to students across America and worldwide.
Goya Cares’ press conference in support of Human Trafficking Awareness Day was attended by 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).
“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. The curriculum educates and empowers children and adults in their lives to keep them safe from abuse, bullying, online exploitation, and human trafficking. Together, we will educate and protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Tanya Ramos Puig, CEO of The Monique Burr Foundation.
Phase II of Goya Cares also includes a cause-related marketing campaign, the placement of a Goya Cares QR code that leads to the Human Trafficking Hotline on 30 million cans of Goya’s top-selling beans, the development of new content and videos for social media 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, 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, WMCA, Northwell Health, Fight for Us, and Knights of Columbus.