Esther Sussman and Kate Jacobsen, of Ferrara Candy Company's Bellwood facility, baked cookies at the Ronald McDonald House in Winfield. | Courtesy Alyssa Rawleigh

Over 130 Ferrara Candy Company employees recently volunteered at local Ronald McDonald Houses, preparing meals, baking cookies and performing other spring cleaning tasks. Ferrara’s Engagement Council partners with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana (RMHC-CNI) along with other charities to establish volunteer opportunities where they live and work. The company pays its employees for their time spent volunteering.

Ferrara Pan has five Chicago area locations: Forest Park, Oak Brook/Oakbrook Terrace, Bellwood, Bolingbrook and Maywood. Approximately 10 percent of the volunteers at the recent Ronald McDonald House event came from Forest Park, including the Ferrara Forest Park plant chef, Raul Jimenez, who prepared all the meals that the employees served at the houses. Jimenez and his crew have been feeding the Forest Park plant’s personnel for over 10 years.