Mounting a unified response to an unprecedented national need made more urgent by COVID-19, Dole Food Company and Dole Packaged Foods, LLC have joined forces to partner with No Kid Hungry, a campaign to end childhood hunger in America. 1 in 4 children in the United States could face hunger this year because of the coronavirus. With school meals programs closed for the summer and as kids start the new school year, they urgently need help to ensure they have the healthy food they need to learn and thrive.
The all-brand strategic partnership by two of the world’s largest providers of fresh and packaged fruits and vegetables; healthy foods and snacks comes at a time when millions of school-age children have lost the healthy meals they once depended on at school. The alliance involves the two Dole companies providing direct product donations in impacted cities, nutrition education and at-retail initiatives to tangibly address hunger and ensure all children have access to three healthy meals a day.
“With school meals programs closed for the summer and millions of Americans struggling to afford food for their children, the work that the No Kid Hungry campaign does to provide meals to children in need is even more pressing,” said Tom Nelson, President and CEO of Share our Strength. “We are proud to partner with companies like Dole with the resources, reach and retailer relationships that can help No Kid Hungry remove the obstacles to getting kids the nutritious meals they need – both during this crisis and every day.”
Under terms of the partnership effective July 1, Dole Food Company of Charlotte, N.C., and Dole Packaged Foods of Westlake Village, CA, will provide assistance to No Kid Hungry in three areas:
- Direct Donation of Healthy Foods to Summer Meals Sites. Summer is always the hungriest time of year for children who depend on school meals. This summer, the crisis is even harder for hungry kids. Starting this month, Dole will work with No Kid Hungry to provide immediate support in targeted U.S. cities through direct donation of DOLE® fresh fruits and vegetables, packaged shelf-stable fruit, frozen fruit, dried fruit, and juices to summer meals sites.
- Virtual Engagement with No Kid Hungry’s Sister Campaign, Cooking Matters. In response to national trends showing that most U.S. households have and will continue to prepare the majority of their meals at home, Dole will leverage its generations of nutrition education leadership to create kid-friendly recipes, games and interactive activities as part of the Cooking Matters program, which empowers families to stretch their food budgets so they can cook healthy meals.
- New Year Hunger Campaign: Consumer Education through Retail. Helping to take the No Kid Hungry message directly to consumers, Dole will work with its national retailer partners to host in-store new year promotions that generate awareness for childhood hunger in the United States.
“The No Kid Hungry campaign has a mission similar to the pledge that all Dole companies have committed themselves to for more than 150 years: nutritious food is the bridge to healthier, happier lives and stronger more inclusive communities,” said William Goldfield, Dole Food Company’s director of corporate communications. “Produce is the key to this and we believe that everyone should have access. The COVID-19 crisis has amplified both the needs to support communities and to stay healthy. We are excited to join with No Kid Hungry and step up to the challenge of our times. It is more important than ever.”
“In the wake of this pandemic, more and more families have been forced to face hunger,” said David Spare, vice president, marketing for Dole Packaged Foods. “This alliance combines the global resources and distribution and retail network of Dole with No Kid Hungry’s track record of providing kids with the nutritious food they need to learn and thrive. The partnership also aligns with our recently announced Dole Promise which aims to increase access to sustainable nutrition, decrease food waste, plastics in packaging and carbon emissions.”