Now when a large number of countries and their people are reeling under pressure due to the spread of Coronavirus, and the US has seen its death count due to coronavirus climb past 80,0000, some of the global businesses have decided to extend a helping hand and provide relief through every means possible. Coca Cola, the soda giant is also making efforts to help the organizations fighting against Covid-19 and communities worldwide to survive during the pandemic. Apart from financial support, the company is also helping healthcare institutions and NGOs with financial support and resources that can help them fight and survive. The Coca Cola system which includes the philanthropic arm of Coca Cola, the Coca Cola Foundation, has pledged to devote more than $100 million to relief programs.
Apart from the grants and donations that the company has publicly announced, the total contribution also includes product donations, a contribution of services as well as the media and advertising space that the company has allocated to the public health authorities and NGO partners. Its contributions are focused on community relief programs, medical supplies, and equipment during the outbreak phase as well as planning and developing actions for recovery in the markets that are worst hit by the pandemic.
These are challenging times and around the world, Coca Cola is reaching out through its local teams to help the local communities. The United States has been hit particularly very hard by the pandemic and many large companies including Coca Cola are using their production and supply chain networks to help and support health care agencies in every manner possible. Coca Cola has a large production and distribution network spread throughout North America and the United States. The company is using its reach to support the community as well as health agencies and NGOs. Apart from delivering beverages during these challenging times, the Coca Cola employees, suppliers, and local bottlers are also finding ways to redeploy resources that can be used to meet the needs of first responders, healthcare workers, community organizations, and more.
The company is donating beverages wherever required. It has already delivered more than 4 million beverage bottles to support community organizations, food banks, and frontline responders throughout North America. The vast Navajo Nation, which spans Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah has been affected by COVID-19 significantly. Swire Coca-Cola in Arizona and Durango Coca-Cola in New Mexico delivered 60,000 bottles of Dasani to the Navajo Nation. Coca Cola North America also donated 60,000 bottles of POWERADE to the U.S. Navy Ship Comfort. The US Navy Ship Comfort is a naval hospital vessel. On the other hand, Coca Cola United has donated more than 24,000 beverages to the Atlanta community food bank and Minute Maid has donated more than 18,000 1 liter shelf-stable juice to the Second Mile Mission Center near Houston. It has also donated more than 150,000 bottles to Feeding America in the Milwaukee area.
Coca Cola is also working to support the restaurant industry during these challenging times. The industry employs more than 15 million Americans. Across the US and Canada, Coca Cola has provided its more than 8,000 employees with $100 delivery credit for either DoorDash, Grubhub, UberEATS or Skip The Dishes to place meal delivery orders. Coca C0la plants in North America have also implemented plans to order take out meals from foodservice customers. Through these efforts, the company has injected around $1 million into the North American restaurant industry. Coca Cola has taken more steps to help the restaurant industry and the people it employs as a part of its coronavirus relief program. Coca Cola with other beverages and food brands has joined forces to support the #TheGreatAmericanTakeout, a movement that encourages Americans to order delivery or take out meals. Apart from that Coca Cola has also donated to the restaurant Employee Relief fund in the United States.
As a part of Coca Cola’s Covid-19 response program, the company is also using its digital assets and tools to help NGOs and the restaurant industry during these challenging times. It launched a Coca Cola Rapid response Online portal to help restaurants find access to free information and resources which include tips for optimizing takeout and drive-thru operations, updated COVID-19 safety guidelines, information on third-party delivery services and more. The company is also using its digital and advertising tools to spread solidarity against Covid-19. On April 06, 2020, the company promoted a message of togetherness and solidarity through its social media handles. It continues to use its social media handles to share helpful information and promote meaningful messages from its NGO partners. The NGO partners of Coca Cola in Covid-19 response include the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Salvation Army, and Feeding America, among others. The company is also using its Billboard on Times Square to spread messages related to social distancing and encourage the Covid-19 fighters.
A large number of companies in the US have devoted their resources and involved their supply chain partners in making or sourcing masks and making respirators. Coca Cola is also using its supply chain capabilities to source the material required for the production of masks. Coca Cola is sourcing and donating 100,000 pounds of plastic sheeting for making face shields in partnership with Makers Respond which is a nonprofit organization rallying makers and manufacturers to address the shortage of personal protective equipment. The company is also utilizing its distribution network for the delivery of these face shields. Several Coca Cola bottlers are delivering these face shields to health care facilities and hospitals across the United States.
Apart from personal protective equipment, healthcare facilities, and communities in the US also need hand sanitizers for protection against Covid-19. Additionally, some Coca Cola bottlers and suppliers are producing hand sanitizers and working with alcohol companies for creating packages to store hand sanitizers. The Coca Cola Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of Coca Cola is awarding $13.5 million in grants to five nonprofit organizations who are fighting at the front against Covid-19 in the US and Canada.