GREENVILLE, Miss. (WLBT) - The MARS Food Brand announced on Wednesday that it will invest $2.5 million in Greenville amid the name change of Uncle Ben’s to Ben’s Original.
The company says it has produced rice for more than 40 years in Greenville. It says the $2.5 million investment is for nutritional and educational programs for students in the city.
Statement of Global President Mars Food, Multisales, and Global Customers Fiona Dawson:
“Over the last several weeks, we have listened to thousands of consumers, our own associates, and other stakeholders from around the world. While implementing an evolution on this scale will be a complex process, there is no better time than right now. We know this is the right thing to do for our brand and business to ensure we create the truly inclusive future that everyone deserves."
Statement of Mayor Errick D. Simmons:
“I’m proud of the Ben’s Original brand and the Mars Food Associates who pour their hearts and souls into making the world’s best rice every day in Greenville. Mars holds a special place in our community, and we’re proud to send a piece of Greenville to dinner tables and families through Ben’s Original. Since Mars Food first announced its commitment to evolve the brand in June, they have done an outstanding job of listening to myself and many more of our community leaders and advocates to ensure our diverse voices are heard. We will continue to work together to improve education opportunities for our more than 7,500 area students and provide greater access to fresh foods for our residents. I’d like to thank Mars Food for taking a very important step forward in helping to feed opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table.”
Statement of President and CEO National Urban League Marc Morial:
“Brands have an important role to play as we continue to navigate this moment of reconciliation regarding racial justice, diversity, and inclusion. We’re proud to partner with Ben’s Original™ as they evolve and embark on a new path with a new purpose, providing Black communities here and abroad with more equitable opportunities in education and business.”