C&S Wholesale Grocers, the nation’s largest wholesale grocery supply company, on Thursday announced a nationwide relief initiative in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, including more than $300,000 in donations that will supply 100,000 KN95 masks to hospitals in hard-hit regions, as well as financial support for food banks and other charitable organizations across the country.
“The coronavirus has devastated lives in communities across the U.S., and C&S stands united in the fight against this pandemic,” said Mike Duffy, chief executive officer of Keene, N.H.-based C&S Wholesale Grocers. “As part of our relief package, C&S is proud to donate 100,000 KN95 masks to hard-hit hospitals in support of those on the front line fighting to save lives. Additionally, we are extending financial support to food banks in communities throughout the U.S. as well as key charitable organizations who are working tirelessly to feed individuals and families who are faced with an economic consequence from this health crisis.”
Highlighting C&S’ COVID-19 relief efforts, hospitals and state governments across four states, including the hardest hit regions of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Massachusetts, will receive allocations from the company's donation of 100,000 KN95 masks. Contributions of the personal protective equipment (PPE) will be distributed to New Jersey’s Hackensack University Medical Center and Holy Name Medical Center; Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley Health Network; California’s Valley Medical Center; and Massachusetts Emergency Management for as-needed frontline disbursement.
Additionally, C&S will provide financial donations to increase support of the company’s ongoing partnership with 22 food banks nationwide, as well as national partners Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund to provide food and funding to food banks across the country; First Book to provide basic hygiene supplies and learning resources for children in need; and the United Way Worldwide’s Community Response and Recovery Fund to provide services through the United Way network, including food and shelter for individuals in need.
As part of its overall COVID-19 relief initiative, C&S has also established an employee giving campaign in which employees can make donations to C&S colleagues who demonstrate a financial need due to a COVID-19-related crisis.
“C&S is a family and we are committed to taking care of each other. By combining the company's overall national relief initiative with an employee giving campaign, we can positively impact communities nationwide, as well as our valued employees and their families,” said Miriam Ort, chief human resources officer, C&S Wholesale Grocers. “As so many people are coming together to support each other, we are thrilled that the C&S family is doing its part to help.”
C&S supplies more than 7,700 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases and institutions with over 137,000 different products.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, C&S has taken steps to support the industry and protect workers while continuing to serve the essential grocery channel. The wholesaler early on partnered with foodservice distributors US Foods, Performance Food Group and Sysco to realign workers and resources from foodservice to food retail in a pandemic environment in which thousands of restaurants and foodservice operators were shut down or severely limiting their business.
In March, the company announced it would provide frontline workers with a special appreciation bonus and all employees with additional paid time off (PTO), among other significant benefits enhancements, in the wake of challenges caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The wholesaler updated its PTO policies to allow employees to take advantage of both paid and unpaid time off due to COVID-19-related issues, even when they have exhausted their personal or sick time. C&S also announced a quarantine pay policy that allows employees to receive their full pay for the duration of a workplace quarantine, for up to two weeks. C&S is encouraging sick employees to stay home and covering 100 % of the cost of Telemedicine, a service that offers them the ability to speak to a board-certified doctor by phone or video, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The company also has instructed all employees who can work from home to do so.
“For the last several weeks, every C&S employee has gone above and beyond to help feed our communities amid this unprecedented situation,” said Duffy on March 30. “Our frontline employees are working countless hours to ensure shelves are stocked and families have food, and I couldn’t be prouder of their grit and efforts. As with all of the difficulties that we have faced at C&S, we have risen to the occasion together.”
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