The economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis have left many industries, businesses, organizations, and households struggling to get by. But help is on the way — the food industry is reaching out to feed, fund, and serve neighbors in need across the globe.
There’s no shortage of food companies doing their part to give back in these challenging times. Here are several of them.
Through its philanthropic arm, Coca-Cola is giving $13.5 million in grants to support nonprofits serving first responders and vulnerable communities. The company also donated more than 740,000 beverages to U.S. food banks, community organizations, and frontline workers; provided supplies and logistical support for companies making face masks; and supported the University of Iowa Hospital System by supplying hand sanitizer and organizing a community collection of personal protective equipment.
CEO and chairman James Quincey said, “We are using the resources of our company and The Coca-Cola Foundation to make a difference by providing much-needed assistance to organizations that are positioned to mobilize quickly and provide essential humanitarian relief.”
The General Mills Foundation contributed $5 million to assist with food access during the loss of school and community meal programs. This support increases the capacity of General Mills’ global food bank partners.
“As a company, we have the values, insights, and partners to positively impact the lives of millions of people worldwide during this unprecedented time as the world navigates the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mary Jane Melendez, the foundation’s president. “These grants will help expand food access and lend added support for many of our communities around the world.”
In March, Hormel Foods pledged $1 million to support local, national, and global hunger relief agencies with financial and product donations.
“We are a great neighbor in the communities where we live and work and can be counted on to do even more during a time like this,” CEO Jim Snee said. “That is why we are so proud to make this $1 million pledge to help those who are food insecure during this difficult time.”
As of March 25, Kellogg reported a giving total of $5 million in food and financial aid to support food banks around the world.
“In every region, our food bank partners are stretched to their limits,” the company’s announcement states. “They’re providing more food to more people, and they’re doing so without their strong network of volunteers. They need us now more than ever.”
Kraft Heinz announced on March 20 that it will be donating $12 million to combat food insecurity around the world during these difficult times. This gift includes a $6.6 million gift to Feeding America — $1.9 million in financial support and $4.7 million in products
With cash and in-kind donations totaling $20 million, Mars is supporting the communities where it operates, as well as CARE, the United Nation’s World Food Programme, and Humane Society International.
Nestlé has been supporting numerous organizations and causes during this time of global need. Some of the company’s outreach efforts include:
- A partnership with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to support emergency relief that includes a donation of CHF 10 million
- A donation of $500,000 to Meals on Wheels to provide vulnerable, homebound seniors with 40,000 meals
- A $100,000 donation to Feeding America in addition to providing more than two million meals so far this year
- Local donations of products and funds to food banks, schools, crisis relief agencies, animal shelters, and other community organizations
With a total donation of $45 million, PepsiCo is supplying meals for vulnerable populations, protective equipment for healthcare workers, screening and testing services, and other critical resources around the world. Within the U.S., the company is specifically directing aid toward providing nutrition for at-risk populations, such as elderly groups and children who’ve lost access to school meal programs. PepsiCo is also donating $1.5 million to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to aid restaurant employees who have lost work during the pandemic.
Smithfield Foods is distributing over $3 million in funding and in-kind donations to a network of more than 200 food banks across the nation. That gift includes four million servings of protein.
The company is also encouraging public donations toward its “Good Food Challenge,” with the goal of reaching $1 million in such donations to supply as many as 10 million meals.
Tyson plans to give $13 million to local areas in need, including $2 million in community grants and $11 million worth of products.
In addition, the company formed a Community Response Fund to help the communities where its plants are located. “We recognize the importance of supporting our team members, their families and our plant communities,” CEO Noel White said. “The purpose of this special fund is to provide help where it’s needed most.”