While some say that variety is the spice of life, in our industry, I would argue that partnerships are what create flavor and spark the collaboration that drives us forward. The new alliance between Giant Food and Unilever's Knorr® Brand is a perfect example, as the retail and distribution names have come together with the U.S. Dream Academy in an effort to fight food insecurity the Ward 8 community of Washington D.C.
"Unilever's Knorr brand believes that wholesome, nutritious food should be accessible and affordable to all," said Christina DiPietro, Team Lead at Englewood Cliffs, N.J.-based Unilever. "We are proud to commence this partnership between Giant and U.S. Dream Academy, helping to fight food insecurity in the local community. It was the Unilever Knorr team's privilege to conduct a virtual cooking class and provide nutritious recipes to the families of Ward 8. We look forward to future partnerships bringing purpose to life in-store and in the communities we serve."
As part of its efforts to support U.S. Dream Academy, an organization that aims to empower the nation's children to reach their dreams through academic, social and values enrichment, Giant and Unilever nutritionists along with Unilever chefs hosted a virtual cooking class for over 100 people in the community. According to a press release, the virtual lessons taught healthy and budget-friendly cooking and nutrition tips, and as part of the class, Giant donated meal kits featuring recipe ingredients and Knorr provided recipe booklets, cutting boards, aprons, and insulated tote bags to all of the participating families.
In addition to the cooking lessons, Giant hosted donation bins across all 164 of its stores throughout the Washington, DC; Maryland; Virginia; and Delaware regions, for a week in May, giving consumers the chance to donate to their neighbors in need. Shoppers who purchased five participating Knorr Rice or Pasta Sides received two free cans of participating Giant own-brand soups. They were then given the option to donate any of the items from their purchase in store to directly benefit U.S. Dream Academy Ward 8 families.
"Giant is proud to team up with quality food brands like Knorr, with shared values of supporting our local communities in need with nutritious food," said Felis Andrade, Director of External Communications and Community Relations at Giant Food. "This recent work to benefit the U.S. Dream Academy families in the Ward 8 community is just one effort as part of our larger mission to address hunger issues in the neighborhoods we serve."
Rounding out its efforts, Unilever announced that it would be making a monetary donation of $25,000 to the U.S. Dream Academy in support of families in the Ward 8 community.
"U.S. Dream Academy is proud to partner with Giant and Unilever to ensure families have access to quality, healthy food options in their own community," commented C. Diane Wallace Booker, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at U.S. Dream Academy. "Ward 8 was hardest hit by the pandemic, and we saw food insecurity at alarming rates during this time. We were pleased to collaborate to bring together fun, learning, and awareness raising around healthy eating and the need for greater access to healthy, affordable food in Ward 8. We also engaged our young people to help us raise awareness—one of our DreamKids designed a food superhero to promote the healthy food campaign in the Giant stores. And over 100 Ward 8 residents had lots of fun in their new Knorr aprons, cooking and learning together as a family and enjoying the fellowship of community in the virtual cooking class led by the Knorr Chef."
Cheers to Unilever and Giant Food as they continue to come together to make a difference in their communities and fight in the battle against food insecurity.