The Sustainable Food Policy Alliance (SFPA) thanks everyone in the food and agriculture supply chain – from our farmer and rancher partners, to our suppliers, to truckers, to grocery store employees, to our own employees – for their tireless efforts to keep store shelves full, food on tables and American families and their pets fed and healthy during this challenging time. We are also grateful for those in our health and public safety communities across the country for their tireless work to keep Americans safe.
Food offers an important sense of security, comfort and community, particularly during this public health crisis. The widespread effects of COVID-19 have demonstrated that access to nutritious, affordable food is critical now more than ever. That is why we stand together to respond and innovate in order to support the supply chain and Federal feeding programs as they mobilize to address the impacts of the coronavirus.
As food and beverage companies, we are working to ensure that our employees and the communities in which they operate are safe, to minimize disruptions to our supply chains, and to ensure that food gets to where it is needed most in the United States and around the world. SFPA member companies have also taken steps to provide hospitals, food banks and other relief organizations with donations of food, hygiene products and other critical supplies and resources. We will continue to explore additional opportunities to provide support throughout the crisis.
We have prioritized the health and wellbeing of our employees, their families and the communities in which they live. We have implemented additional safety measures in our manufacturing facilities, as well as distribution centers and offices, including strict adherence to the guidance set forth by the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommendations from government and local officials. We have also taken steps to protect employee livelihoods against the potential negative financial impacts of coronavirus. While each company had strong paid leave and benefits policies in place prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the current and impending public health and economic impacts of the pandemic on American families further shine light on the need for a strong, comprehensive national paid sick leave policy.
As the situation continues to evolve, leadership and clear communication from the highest levels of government to officials on the ground will be paramount. We are in unprecedented times and the full, long-term impacts of this crisis on American families, the food and agriculture industry and the global economy are not yet known.
We are pleased to see Congress continue to advance bipartisan legislation to support economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Similarly to our own individual efforts, Congress rightly expanded food assistance and access programs as a part of the economic support packages. We believe that the U.S. government should focus financial assistance on the individuals, families and small- and medium-sized businesses, including food and farm businesses, hit hardest by the crisis.
While we are all eager to return to “normal,” we urge all Americans to follow the recommendations of public health officials at the national and local levels and continue to maintain physical distancing and other measures these experts advise to isolate, contain and one day defeat the coronavirus.
We know that the days and weeks to come will be challenging for our consumers, our employees and our partners. We will continue to do everything we can to protect our employees and meet the needs of our customers, while supporting strong, healthy families and the resilience of our country’s communities.
Read more about efforts underway at each SFPA member company: