Driscoll’s donating $4M in response to pandemic
Driscoll’s will deploy more than $4 million in global charitable funds across health clinics, food banks, fresh berry donations and other community resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a market leader in fresh produce, Driscoll’s plays an essential role in feeding the world and is compelled during these challenging times to support the communities who are working tirelessly to bring fresh, healthy berries to families.
Funds are being distributed across diverse geographical growing regions, including $2.5 million for the U.S. and Canada, $1 million for central Mexico and Baja and $500,000 for Europe and Morocco. In addition, $500,000 in fresh berry donations will be delivered to the first responders and hospitals in New York City for their courageous efforts working on the front lines.
J. Miles Reiter, chairman and CEO of Driscoll’s, said the company is committed to: protect the health and safety of all its employees and those in its broader enterprise; uphold food-safety commitments to deliver fresh, nutritious fruit to consumers; and to assess and respond on how best to support their growing regions around the world. As part of the $4 million in charitable funds, the first $1 million in cash donations were deployed in mid-March to augment health care services in California, one of Driscoll’s largest growing regions. Four California clinics each received a cash donation of $250,000 to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic: Salud Para La Gente, Clinica Del Valle de Salinas, Community Health Centers and Clínicas Del Camino Real.
“We believe it’s our responsibility during these challenging times to support communities who are working tirelessly to bring fresh, healthy berries to families,” said Reiter. “Agriculture is an impactful kind of business that relies on human and environmental resources. We are responsible for what we do and how we do it, and are moving quickly to deploy donated resources for the largest community impact.”
Beyond the immediate needs of health services in California, food distribution was identified as the next critical community need. California’s shelter-in-place orders have left food banks and pantries with few volunteers and thousands of families in need of food delivery to their homes. To continue serving food to these families, $600,000 in cash donations and $100,000 in product donations have been released to California organizations in Watsonville, Santa Maria and Oxnard.
“While our hope is that our donated resources positively impact communities in which our berries are grown and harvested, it’s going to take a commitment from the entire agriculture industry in order to properly support growers, farmworkers and their families and ensure families have access to fresh produce,” said Reiter. “We’re pleased that members of the produce industry have been committing resources during this time of need to support local food banks, healthcare providers and workers across the entire food supply chain.”
Driscoll’s is matching donations up to $200,000 for its employees and independent growers to further ignite the spirit of giving.