Grant Thornton’s St. Louis office launched a new career development program for women last week with a food bank volunteer event.

The office kicked off their local participation in “Women at Grant Thornton” May 19 when 13 employees packaging 619 cases of food at the St. Louis Food Bank that will provide 16,675 meals to the area needy.

Established in 2004 and led by national managing partner Jacqueline Akerblom, the nationwide program develops activities to promote gender diversity of company staff and those in senior level positions. The initiative earned the firm a place on Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies list.

“We are developing professional development and community-based opportunities that raise awareness of women’s issues in the workplace,” said Carolyn Harpole, director of state and local taxes and leader of the St. Louis initiative, in a statement. “It is our hope to actively engage employees locally and make a meaningful impact in our community.”