Newman's Own labelActor Paul Newman’s food company, Newman’s Own, got its start in the actor’s basement with a homemade salad dressing he gave to friends as gifts.

Today the company is a manufacturing empire, with every penny of after-tax profits going to charity. Last week, it announced that it surpassed $300 million in donations since its founding in 1982.

Newman’s Own offers more than 100 varieties of all-natural food and beverage products, which include salad dressings, pasta sauces, salsas, popcorn, lemonade, and thin & crispy frozen pizza and cookies.

The charitable mission of Newman’s Own was expressed by Paul in the company’s motto: “Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good.” Thousands of charities have benefitted over the 28 years.

“When people would thank Paul for his charitable giving, he would always reply that he didn’t think he was doing anything special,” said Robert Forrester, president of Newman’s Own Foundation. “He believed that the real thanks should go to those people who work every day to make ours and the future’s a better world. For Paul, it was a privilege to be just one among these many. That’s how we all feel today as we carry on this unique and wonderful philanthropic legacy.”

(READ more in USA Today)

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