Mars Commits $20M to communities in COVID-19 response

Global confectionery, food and pet food manufacturer Mars has announced to support the global fight against coronavirus with a $20 million in-kind and cash donation. The family-owned company has partnered with three global charitable organisations, CARE, the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) and Humane Society International (HSI), in order to better support the communities in which it operates, and to help the most vulnerable in its extended supply chains. In addition to the global response, the company is also acting on a local level: in the Czech Republic, Mars, Royal Canin and the Mars Wrigley confectionary factory have partnered to donate more than 6 tons of food, chocolate and confectionary products and more than 2 tons of petfood to support the people, pets and communities most affected by the pandemic.

As part of its ongoing response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, family-owned Mars has shared an update on actions to better support the communities in which it operates, and the most vulnerable in its extended supply chains. The new commitment includes an initial cash and in-kind donation of $20 million to support the people, pets and communities most affected by the pandemic, and to help those fighting in the frontlines.

The support package includes a $5 million donation to CARE, which will help to further the organization address the specific needs of the world’s most vulnerable, including women, children and refugee populations in underdeveloped countries where the virus is just beginning to spike, but also where they will be the most unprepared. A $2 million package of support will help the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) to manage logistics for emergency food and lifesaving equipment to hospitals in affected areas. Finally, a $1 million donation for the Humane Society International (HSI) will help ease the burden of overcapacity shelters. HSI is currently focused on helping pets that have been abandoned, left behind or surrendered to shelters due to their owners falling ill or no longer having the financial means to care for them as a result of COVID-19. 

The balance of $12 million will come from a combination of cash and in-kind donations from across the markets where Mars operates, as well as donations from its foundations.

On a local level, Mars Czech Republic, the Mars Wrigley confectionary factory in Porici nad Sazavou and Royal Canin Czech Republic have joined forces to provide support to vulnerable people and pets, but also to those working in the front line in the fight against COVID-19, like the emergency medical service team in Prague or Foundation of the Armed forces in Czech republic, to better cope with the different effects of the pandemic. The support provided was offered to the Czech Food bank, SOS Children's Villages, and 5 animal shelters.

“Our approach for working through this COVID-19 crisis has been, and will continue to be, ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our Associates, doing our part to prevent the spread of the virus and caring for our communities. Mutuality is one of the key principles of our daily work, and we now see it more than ever, that we need to support our local communities in order to get through this difficult period, and our donation will hopefully help them”, said Ursula Irwin, Market Director for Mars Czech republic.

PhDr. Věra Doušová, Director of Czech Food Bank (Potravinová Banka pro Prahu a Středočeský kraj) which is providing food products to people in need said that „We thank Mars for the generous gift of rice and confectionery. During the pandemic, many people lost their jobs and so many are in need of our help. Donated food will help overcome the need of single seniors and single mothers, who are now among the most vulnerable groups.

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