Mars commits US $ 20 million to communities in COVID-19 response

The company’s commitment towards community

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As part of its ongoing response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, family-owned Mars, has shared an update on actions to support better the communities in which it operates, and the most vulnerable in its extended supply chains.

The new commitment includes initial cash and in-kind donation of US $ 20 million (approximately Rs 15 crore) to support the people, pets and communities most affected by COVID-19. The support package includes -US $5 million donations to support CARE for critical supplies and expertise that will be deployed in the developing world to women, children and refugee populations. US $2 million donation to the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) to aid in the transport and delivery of critical supplies for all United Nations agencies as they respond to the pandemic. US $1 million donation to Humane Society International (HSI) to help cats and dogs 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.

The balance of US $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 including the Mars Wrigley Foundation, the Banfield Foundation, the Pedigree Foundation and the Tasty Bite Foundation. 

Grant F Reid, chief executive officer, Mars said, “Our approach for working through this COVID 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. This week, we’re announcing a commitment of $20 million in cash and in-kind product donations to support the hundreds of communities where we live and work, or whom we depend upon for our agricultural ingredients. We’re all in this together and we want to do our part to help those most in need.”

Frank Mars, chair of the Board of Directors for Mars, said, “All our lives, our family has believed that our Five Principles are fundamental to the culture and success of Mars. However, it’s during times of crisis that purpose and key guiding principles are both most important and really tested. We will only get through this pandemic by thinking mutually — by supporting one another, and that’s what this commitment to our communities is all about.”

More on the Community Giving

As part of the support package, the $5 million donation to CARE 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. 

The US $2 million package of support will help the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) manage logistics for emergency food and lifesaving equipment to hospitals in affected areas. 

The US $1 million donation for the Humane Society International (HSI) will help ease the burden of overcapacity shelters. The Humane Society International (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. 

Michelle Nunn, president and chief executive officer of CARE, said, “This incredible commitment from Mars is going to save lives. CARE is already working every day in places where healthcare systems are fragile and food supplies have been cut off by disaster and conflict. Investing now in these vulnerable communities will make a tremendous difference. CARE’s focus on women and girls on the frontline of response to COVID-19 will both protect and empower the caregivers, families and communities. We are deeply grateful to Mars for this investment.”

Ute Klamert, assistant executive director of Partnerships and Advocacy of the United Nation’s World Food Programme, “During this time of global crisis, no one is immune as the virus spreads from person to person and country to country, and fragile communities already grappling with conflict, climate change and economic challenges are particularly vulnerable and ill-equipped to respond to it. Flexible funding from Mars that supports WFP’s greatest needs is critically important and greatly appreciated so we can direct resources and respond dynamically as the situation changes on the ground.”

Jeffrey Flocken, president Humane Society International, “We are incredibly grateful to Mars for this generous donation, which recognizes that dogs and cats are a vital part of our families — a source of comfort and unwavering affection, particularly in times of crisis. As the world struggles with this pandemic, these critically needed funds will directly help companion animals around the world impacted by the coronavirus crisis.”

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