Sysco has announced that it will donate 2.5m meals over the next four weeks as part of its community response strategy to the COVID 19 pandemic.

The company is closely collaborating with an array of stakeholders, from suppliers, customers, government entities and the non-profit sector, to address food insecurity and the added strains on the food bank system.

Sysco’s response strategy is focused on working with its national partners, Feeding America in the U.S. and Second Harvest in Canada, in support of food redistribution efforts across the supply chain in North America. The strategy has a four-pronged approach focused around product donations, delivery to foodbanks, providing additional storage and supporting development of a mobile distribution platform.

“The COVID 19 virus has impacted all of us – our associates, customers, suppliers and communities – in unprecedented ways. Issues related to food accessibility and increasing food insecurity of our most vulnerable populations are adding to the unease in our communities,” said Kevin Hourican, Sysco president and chief executive officer. “As an industry leader, we know that Sysco is uniquely positioned to help address those concerns and provide meaningful solutions.”

Currently, the company is assessing product inventory systemwide that will be identified for donation, representing at least 3m pounds of food which equates to 2.5m meals; coordinating transportation and logistics support to address capacity constraints; and working to support mobile pantry and drive-through distribution models.

Hourican concluded: “Sysco is considered a critical infrastructure provider, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, and we have a special responsibility to maintain our business operations in times of national disaster or emergency. Our distribution centers remain open and our associates are diligently working to support our customers, suppliers and communities in this evolving environment. All other associates whose job responsibilities can be executed remotely are working from home.”

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