Food companies donating to Haiti relief effort

by Eric Schroeder
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HAITI — Widespread damage resulting from a Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti has prompted many grain-based foods companies to step forward with donations. They include:

• Cargill — The company responded with an initial corporate donation of $50,000 that will be directed to longtime Cargill partners CARE and the United Nations’ World Food Programme, which have significant operations in the country. In Minnesota, Cargill volunteers at its headquarters facility will be packaging 20,000 meals on Jan. 18 for the nonprofit Kids Against Hunger. The meals will be sent directly to people in Haiti. Cargill volunteers will be packaging an additional 30,000 meals over the next month.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Haiti who are suffering through this natural disaster,” said Mark Murphy, assistant vice-president of corporate affairs at Cargill. “As a global food company we will work with our nonprofit partners to provide aid on the ground to help in Haiti where we can. We are proud to join other companies who are helping one of the poorest countries in the world as it deals with this tragic disaster.”

• ConAgra Foods, Inc. — The ConAgra Foods Foundation has pledged $100,000 to the International Red Cross Relief Fund.

“The first 48 hours are critical in a disaster, and that’s why we have chosen, for years, to invest in both the domestic and international relief funds with the Red Cross,” said Kori Reed, executive director, ConAgra Foods Foundation. “We then monitor other needs as the aftermath of the disaster unfolds. A well-intentioned donation of food or clothing at the wrong time and without the appropriate infrastructure to get the items to the victims can add to the chaos.”

• General Mills, Inc. — The General Mills Foundation committed $250,000 to support disaster relief and rebuilding efforts in Haiti. The $250,000 commitment includes a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross International Response Fund and a $150,000 donation to CARE International for long-term rebuilding efforts.

“It’s difficult to imagine the scale of this disaster and the tremendous challenges facing the people of Haiti following Tuesday’s earthquake,” said Ellen Goldberg Luger, the General Mills Foundation’s executive director and vice-president. “The priorities are to support the critical immediate response efforts as well as the rebuilding of this community.”

• The Kellogg Co. — Kellogg has donated $250,000 to the American Red Cross through its Kellogg’s Corporate Citizenship Fund, the charitable arm of Kellogg Co.

“This disaster has devastated what is already one of the poorest countries in the world,” said Celeste Clark, senior vice-president of corporate affairs. “The situation for the people of Haiti is dire, and we believe it is critical for us to provide support to relief efforts.”

For the past year, Kellogg has partnered with a humanitarian organization to provide food in Haiti. Kellogg will work with this organization and others involved in relief efforts to continue to provide food products. In addition, Kellogg will encourage employees and retirees to support relief efforts by providing a dollar-for-dollar match to the American Red Cross.

• Kraft Foods Inc. — The Kraft Foods Foundation has partnered with the American Red Cross to donate $25,000 to help provide relief to victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
“Donations are especially important after a disaster strikes,” said Nicole Robinson, vice-president, Kraft Foods Foundation. “Bringing comfort to the communities, especially during a time of tremendous need, makes an immediate positive difference in their lives.”

• Yum! Brands — The Louisville, Ky.-based company is directing $500,000 from its World Hunger Relief global effort to provide food for earthquake victims in Haiti. Yum! Brands’ World Hunger Relief is the world’s largest private-sector, hunger-relief effort, spanning 110 countries, 36,000 KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver’s and A&W Restaurants, to raise awareness, volunteerism and funds for the United Nations’ World Food Programme.

“The situation in Haiti is devastating and our sympathies go out to everyone impacted by the earthquake,” said David Novak, chairman and chief executive officer. “I visited Haiti over a year ago after hurricanes ravaged the country. We were so moved that we immediately pledged the first $1 million raised from our World Hunger Relief campaign that year to go to Haiti.”

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