Some people march against world hunger. Some people give to charity. Others join the Peace Corps.
Glenn Hawkes? He makes chili."Hunger is the next wall to fall," said Hawkes, a long-time peace and anti-nuclear activist. "I wanted to start a company that would be dedicated to a single social cause - eliminating hunger."
So Hawkes, a former elementary school principal and founder of Parents and Teachers for Social Responsibility, took out a $35,000 mortgage on his house and started Food 2000 Inc., which aims to end world hunger by the year 2000.
Food 2000 makes a product called Chili 2000. The chili, which is packaged in a reusable glass jar, is sold to stores across the country. For every 12 jars sold, one - or the value of one - is given away to a local hunger group.
Socially responsible diners need not confine themselves to a diet of chili; these days, altruistic businesses now make cookies, buttercruch candy, tea, salad dressing, spaghetti sauce and other comestibles, sell them to the public and then donate a percentage of their profits to heal societal wounds.
"Business was always the bugaboo of the peace activists, but that was a horrendous mistake," said Hawkes. "Being anti-business slowed down any progress and cut off our strength."
Hawkes was inspired by another Vermont business, Ben & Jerry's Homemade, which regularly donates money, ice cream and marketing expertise to causes.
The company's "primary purpose is to use the power and creativity of business to be a force for social change," said Ben Cohen, one of the founders of Ben & Jerry's and president of the separate Community Products Inc.
The company donates 40 percent of its pre-tax profits to organizations working to save the world's rain forests.