Sysco announced it has donated 30 million meals across eight countries since mid-March as part of its community response strategy to the COVID-19 pandemic. These donations were valued at over $100 million and included nearly 16 million pounds of fresh produce and approximately six million pounds of fresh dairy products.
According to the company, with millions more people around the world seeking food assistance, Sysco worked closely with suppliers, customers and government entities, along with key partners like Feeding America in the U.S., Second Harvest in Canada, FareShare in the U.K. and FoodCloud in Ireland, among others, to distribute food to those who need it most.
“When the pandemic reduced demand for restaurants and other food-away-from-home establishments worldwide, Sysco associates acted quickly to re-direct millions of cases of food to local organizations dedicated to getting nutritious food into the hands of those in need,” said Neil Russell, Sysco’s vice president, corporate affairs. “This massive effort demonstrates an extraordinary level of partnership, agility and compassion by our global associates in response to the COVID-19 crisis.”
In addition to providing food, Sysco’s comprehensive community response strategy aimed to help address a broad set of other needs facing food redistribution efforts, including providing direct delivery to food banks and other hunger relief organizations, loaning refrigerated trucks and facility storage space to increase capacity for local food distribution, and providing volunteer and staffing support for mobile distribution efforts.
According to the company, through food donations and these other efforts, Sysco supported more than 900 community organizations in their efforts to address hunger and food insecurity.
Sysco also donated $150,000 to No Kid Hungry through its Take Out To Give Back campaign, a program that launched a social media movement to support local restaurants during COVID-19 while generating awareness about child hunger.
The campaign encouraged diners to support local restaurants by ordering takeout and delivery meals from across the U.S. and beyond.
For every meal photo posted and tagged with #TakeOutToGiveBack, Sysco donated 50 cents to No Kid Hungry, helping to ensure nutritious meals reach kids in need, said the company. No Kid Hungry is a campaign run by Share Our Strength, a non-profit working to solve problems of hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the world.