Conagra Brands’ Response to COVID-19
Updated: March 26, 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. We’ve been taking swift actions to address this rapidly evolving situation to ensure that we can meet our commitments to customers and consumers, while also making health and safety our top priority.
We are carefully following government guidelines and taking proactive steps 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.
Activating Our Pandemic Team
We have activated our cross-functional pandemic team, which exists to ensure business continuity for matters such as COVID-19. The team, which includes our senior leadership, is acting with urgency to quickly respond to the rapidly changing environment. Our well-established business continuity plans assign people and resources to address the most critical needs of the business, and we keep our entire workforce informed and engaged in the process.
Keeping Our Employees, Communities and Products Safe
As a leading food company, Conagra Brands 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 in feeling secure. Now more than ever, we are determined to make great products that meet the needs of our consumers and communities.
Our plants are currently operating effectively and efficiently. We are making more of the products that are in high demand so that stores can provide people with the food they need during this unprecedented time. The teams in our facilities take great pride in operating with safety top-of-mind, including the safety of one another and of the food we make. To assist our employees, we are paying anyone who needs to be away from work due to a COVID-19 related illness. Additionally at our more than 50 facilities, full-time employees in the U.S. will receive a $500 bonus and part-time employees will receive a $250 bonus, with similar amounts provided to employees in Canada and Mexico, in recognition of these team members' relentless efforts to make and deliver much-needed Conagra Brands food to millions of consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In our facilities, we continue to use our rigorous plant maintenance and sanitation processes, and we are supplementing those regular practices with additional cleaning in common areas. 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.”
We have restricted business travel to business-critical projects only, and in cases where travel is necessary. It is not permitted internationally.
Embracing expert recommendations on social distancing, the vast majority of our office-based employees are working remotely with the exception of a small group of people who require specific equipment to complete their work. For these employees, we have enhanced cleaning procedures and frequency and ask that they maintain social distance and follow good hygiene practices.
Investing in Our Communities
Our communities are facing an unprecedented situation with the spread of the COVID-19 virus. There is a significantly increased strain on community resources to ensure children, teenagers, adults and senior citizens have access to food.
Conagra Brands provides ongoing product donations to Feeding America, our national partner and the largest hunger relief organization in the United States. Feeding America distributes our product to its network of 200 food banks across America. So far this fiscal year, Conagra has donated the equivalent of over 16 million meals to Feeding America and we continue this longstanding practice of product donations on an ongoing basis, especially now. For example, between March 17 and March 26, we donated the equivalent of an additional 2.1 million meals to Feeding America for distribution to its food banks across the country.
On a local level, we launched remote food drives at our Chicago and Omaha offices to support local hunger relief agencies. The Chicago food drive rescued 3,860 pounds of food which was immediately received by hunger relief agency Lakeview Pantry. The Omaha food drive rescued 22 pallets of food which was provided to Food Bank for the Heartland. The employee response to this call-to-action has been incredible, showcasing the tremendous passion and spirit of our employees to do the right thing to help our communities.
In addition to product donations, we are currently expediting cash contributions totaling more than $1.75 million to organizations including Feeding America, Greater Chicago Food Depository and Food Bank for the Heartland in Omaha to help address their increased needs due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Effectively addressing pandemics requires everyone to do their part. We are thankful to 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.
Let’s work together to nurture safe and healthy communities. Please visit the CDC website for the latest information about COVID-19.