More companies step up in coronavirus crisis

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

 American Dairy Association North East and Dairy Farmers of America deliver 50,000 gallons of milk to families in need.
American Dairy Association North East and Dairy Farmers of America deliver 50,000 gallons of milk to families in need.

Related tags coronavirus COVID-19 Milk Dairy Huhtamaki Cheese Lifeway

More companies and organizations are helping with donations and product in order to help in the face of challenges created by the global covid-19 pandemic.

Huhtamaki joins forces with the International Red Cross to provide COVID-19 emergency relief

Huhtamaki has announced a donation of €500,000 ($543,000) in support of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) COVID-19 appeal.

The funds will be channeled via Finnish Red Cross to go towards boosting emergency relief efforts in Asia and Europe, and improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable.

Charles Héaulmé, president and CEO of Huhtamaki, said, “This contribution is only one part of our support towards alleviating the impact of the pandemic globally. We have partnered with the International Red Cross, a leading global organization, to do our share in helping tackle the humanitarian aspect of the COVID-19 crisis. This emergency affects us all, regardless of where we are around the world, and together we can make a difference where it is most needed.”

Huhtamaki has also asked management teams across its 81 locations globally to reach out and see where they can assist local communities.

For example, Huhtamaki has started to produce face shields for healthcare workers together with a local partner in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Initially, 4m face shields will be produced per week for HSCNI, the publicly funded service that provides health and social care services in Northern Ireland.

Huhtamaki is looking to ramp up the production up to 6m per week and investigating whether the shields can be produced in other locations, too. Huhtamaki is also donating its products to health care systems, for example, more than 6m foodservice products to hospitals and nursing homes in Europe to ensure food hygiene and safety.

Dairy groups step in

Two dairy farmer organizations in the US have joined forces to get truckloads of milk to those in need.

American Dairy Association North East, representing more than 10,000 dairy farmers, and Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a national cooperative owned by dairy farm families across the US, have teamed up with Dean Foods’ processing plants across the Northeast to help deliver milk to communities across the region.

"Fortunately, dairy farmers have not experienced a disruption in milk production, and there is no shortage of milk,"​ Rick Naczi, CEO, American Dairy Association North East, said.

Jennifer Huson, senior director marketing, council affairs and industry relations for DFA Northeast, added, "Knowing that millions of Americans are struggling right now to make ends meet and with food banks being a critical local resource to help feed those families, we knew that we had to figure out a solution."

This week, more than 50,000 gallons of milk are being delivered to food pantries served by City Harvest of Queens, N.Y., Rolling Harvest Food Rescue serving Bucks County, Pa., and Mercer County, N.J., Share Food Program of Philadelphia, Pa., Fayette Food Bank of Republic, Pa., Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank of Pittston, Pa., Community Action Planning Council of Watertown, N.Y., Food Bank of Delaware in Newark, Del. and the Salvation Army in Syracuse, N.Y.

Burnett Dairy Cooperative donating cheese to assist coronavirus efforts

Burnett Dairy Cooperative, a full-service cooperative in Wisconsin that produces cheese, is donating cheese to food pantries, schools and non-profit organizations supplying free meals.

Ruby's Pantry_BurnettDairyDonation-3
Pic: Burnett Dairy Cooperative

The cheese is being given to organizations based near the cooperative’s Grantsburg, Wisc., headquarters, including in the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area.

“The Burnett Dairy Cooperative and our member farmers recognized an opportunity to make a difference during an extremely challenging time for our country and the dairy industry,”​ said Dan Dowling, CEO and president for the Burnett Dairy Cooperative.

As part of the effort, Chell Trucking, of Siren, Wisc., is donating time and refrigerated truck space to help distribute the cheese.

Lifeway supports workers and charities

Lifeway Foods, Inc., a US supplier of kefir and fermented probiotic products, is also making contributions to both its workers and local charities.

Julie Smolyansky, Lifeway’s CEO, said, “We are committed to supporting the accelerated demand for retail sales and community aid donations through an increase in our kefir production, and we are instituting the Lifeway Heroes Commitment Award, an hourly bonus for employees in our production and warehouse facilities in recognition of their incredible work.

In addition, Lifeway is providing donations to Singer and songwriter Jewel’s Inspiring Children, Mount Sinai Hospital, Meals on Wheels Chicago, Food Bank for New York City and other local and national food pantries to help ensure first responders and those in need have access to microbiome-supporting products and are able to nourish themselves and their families. To date, Lifeway has donated over 45,000 servings of kefir, and we plan to continue providing additional product for as long as needed.”

Related topics Manufacturers COVID-19

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