Our industry continues to answer the demand prompted by consumers for food in multiple sectors. Among those making moves is the Cargill Foundation, which already has donated nearly 1 million pounds of food in its communities and supports organizations looking to tackle hunger and layoffs brought on by COVID-19.
This week, the company opened its headquarter's cafeteria to the Minnesota Central Kitchen.
"At Cargill, we believe our state's nonprofits and hospitality professionals can continue to respond to the growing need for food assistance in our community and are proud to join them in this relief for food insecure children and families in Minnesota," said Katie Clark Sieben, Cargill Foundation Director. "It is humbling to see our NGO, restaurant, and business communities rally together and mobilize quickly to provide nutritious food and employment opportunities."
This additional kitchen space will provide not just meals (4,000 a day) for Minnesota consumers but also employment opportunities.
The Cargill Foundation is also contributing $1 million to add a distribution site in North Minneapolis with Appetite for Change and to support the production of 120,000 meals across all of MN Central Kitchen's sites, according to a press release.
"We can't fight this virus hungry and yet hunger is growing in our community every day. Effectively battling COVID-19 is going to take all of us coming together, putting our best innovations forward, to make sure everyone is safe and fed," said Allison O'Toole, CEO of Second Harvest Heartland. "The Cargill Foundation's support of Minnesota Central Kitchen is a perfect example of the kind of powerful partnerships we need right now. We're grateful for Cargill's long-standing backing, and we're not surprised that they've stepped forward, once again, when we need the community to come together like never before."
Cargill's global and regional COVID-19 response is guided by its purpose to nourish the world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way. Another among those excited to serve is Jonathan Gans, Executive Chef for The Bachelor Farmer.
"For those of us who choose to cook for and serve people as a profession, the thought of not being able to do so is heartbreaking. We hope that, through the MN Central Kitchen, even though many of our businesses will be affected by this pandemic, we will still be able to feed and take care of those who need it most during these difficult times. A cook needs to cook, and that's what I intend to do," Gans said.
The team noted that these restaurants provide the kitchen space, staff, supplies, and food for Second Harvest Heartland to coordinates logistics in order for Loaves & Fishes and Appetite for Change to distribute the to-go meals to Minnesotans free of charge at its more than 30 locations across the state—and companies like Cargill to fund the operation and provide additional kitchen space.
Deli Market News will continue to bring you the latest on our industry’s impact and response to this and other current events.