Danone North America, which has its corporate headquarters in White Plains, is donating $1.2 million in cash and $300,000 in products to help feed the needy as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to intensify.
“ The closure of workplaces and schools nationwide in the last several weeks is leading to increasing food insecurity for many Americans, including low-income families, housebound individuals, and children unable to access free school breakfast and lunch,” Danone said in a statement.
The company is well-known for its Dannon brand of yogurt along with Horizon Organic, Silk and other food product brands. The donations will go to organizations involved in providing food access in communities across the country, including Feeding Westchester in Elmsford.
“For many children across Westchester, no school means no food,” said Judy Campisi, senior director of development for Feeding Westchester. She said that the nonprofit has been working to make sure children who rely on free or reduced breakfast and lunch at school still have access to good nutrition even though schools have been closed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“We face the greatest need we have ever seen for things like yogurt and shelf-stable milk,” she said.
Donated funds also will go to New York-based City Harvest, Colorado-based Community Food Share and We Don’t Waste and organizations in a dozen communities where Danone makes its products, including in California, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Virginia.
These organizations will use the donated funds to buy fresh and nonperishable food, pick up and distribute unused food from businesses or workplaces that have closed, mobilize volunteers and deliver food either to food banks or directly to people in need.
Last week, Danone North America donated approximately 50,000 cups of yogurt and 56,000 milk boxes to Feeding Westchester to support residents in New Rochelle.
Feeding Westchester is working with the National Guard to distribute the donated food to New Rochelle residents living within the local containment area. Feeding Westchester will also be working with municipalities, school districts and partner agencies throughout the county.
Danone said it would continue to match eligible employee contributions to charitable organizations across the country, including food banks.