Conagra Brands’ Response to COVID-19
Updated: May 19, 2020
Conagra Brands extends its deepest sympathies to all who have been impacted by the coronavirus, COVID-19. Recently we have seen extraordinary actions taken by countries, cities, communities and organizations across the globe to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a leading food company, Conagra Brands is an essential business and is uniquely positioned to have a positive impact in our communities and on the well-being of those around us.
A walk around your local supermarket shows the concern people are experiencing and the important role food plays during this pandemic. Now more than ever, we are determined to keep our employees safe as we make great products that meet the needs of our consumers and communities. Conagra Brands thanks all of its employees who continue to produce much-needed food for consumers during this unprecedented time.
We are carefully following government guidelines, taking proactive steps and expanding current programs to do what we can to prevent the further spread of the virus. To date, our response to COVID-19 has included the following measures:
Keeping Our Employees Safe
We’ve implemented preventative measures to keep people safe and healthy, including:
- Social distancing practices such as installing plexiglass barriers between work stations where people work less than six feet apart
- Staggering shift start and stop times
- Screening employee temperatures
- Using face masks and shields in our facilities
- Reformatting breakrooms and limiting conference room usage
- Continuing our rigorous plant maintenance and sanitation processes
- Promoting good hygiene and preventative techniques in our facilities and away from the workplace
We recognize our plant team members' relentless efforts to make and deliver much-needed food to millions of consumers during this time. Conagra Brands has provided more than $13 million in special bonuses for front-line employees working in production or distribution facilities in the United States, Canada and Mexico. To further assist our employees, we are paying anyone who needs to be away from work due to a COVID-19 related production suspension or illness.
We also emphasize the importance of practicing safe behaviors and practices outside of the workplace, such as social distancing, good personal hygiene, sound judgment and taking guidance from medical professionals.
Producing Safe Food
Importantly, food scientists do not believe that the virus can be spread through food production, and according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there has been no known coronavirus transmission through food, and there is “likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.”
Investing in Our Communities
The spread of the COVID-19 virus has significantly increased the strain on community resources to ensure children, teenagers, adults and senior citizens have access to food. Conagra Brands has provided support in many ways, including:
- Supporting Feeding America - Conagra Brands provides ongoing product donations to Feeding America, our national partner and the largest hunger relief organization in the United States. So far this fiscal year, Conagra has donated the equivalent of over 23.9 million meals to Feeding America. Since March 17 when this pandemic created an increased strain on our nation’s food banks, Conagra donated the equivalent of 7.9 million meals to Feeding America for distribution to its food banks across the country.
- Making cash contributions - In addition to product donations, we have provided cash contributions totaling more than $2.15 million USD to organizations including Feeding America, Greater Chicago Food Depository, Food Bank for the Heartland in Omaha, Asociación Mexicana de Bancos de Alimentos in Mexico, United Way Centraide in Canada, Food Banks Canada and others to help address their increased needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Providing support at a local level -
- We launched remote food drives at our Chicago and Omaha offices to support local hunger relief agencies. In Chicago, our food drive rescued 3,860 pounds of food which was immediately received by hunger relief agency Lakeview Pantry. In Nebraska and Iowa, we rescued 22 pallets of food from our Omaha offices and our facility in Council Bluffs, which was provided to Food Bank for the Heartland.
- Our team in Mexico City partnered with the United Way of Mexico to deliver individual meals to hospital staff in Mexico City and produce a video message of inspiration and hope for hospital workers. Additionally, we partnered with Ya Respondiste in Mexico City and World Vision in Veracruz to prepare supplemental food boxes that were delivered to families in Mexico City and Veracruz.
- Our team in Canada provided a variety of community-based organizations both food product donations and cash contributions to assist people in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. In a unique partnership with Peel Children’s Aid Foundation, the team provided food gift cards which were distributed by social care workers to families in need.
We have restricted business travel to business-critical projects only, and in cases where travel is necessary. It is not permitted internationally. Due to travel guidance at the federal, state and local level, Conagra Brands requires employees to consult with their manager prior to engaging in personal travel. It is possible that based on a specific state or county’s guidance, if employees engage in interstate travel, they may be subject to a 14-day quarantine period.
Embracing expert recommendations on social distancing, the vast majority of our office-based employees are working remotely. Conagra has robust technological capabilities that allow office-based workers to stay connected and do their jobs effectively while working remotely.
Effectively addressing pandemics requires everyone to do their part. We are thankful for our dedicated employees who are working tirelessly to make our food available to consumers. Whether it’s a nutritious family dinner, a quick snack, a kid-friendly meal or an indulgent dessert, our hope is that people find comfort in the food we make, especially in today’s environment. We are determined to meet our commitments to our customers, consumers and communities. Conagra Brands leadership will continue to assess and adjust as this situation evolves, while always keeping the health and safety of employees as the top priority.
Let’s work together to nurture safe and healthy communities. Please visit the CDC website for the latest information about COVID-19.