UFCW partners with Cargill, ConAgra Foods, Hormel Foods, JBS USA, Pinnacle Foods, Downs Food Group, Ryder Logistics for multi-ton donation of high-quality, high-protein food

Members of Local 617 who proudly process the products made at the Fort Madison Iowa Plant

Members of Local 617 who proudly process the products made at the Fort Madison Iowa Plant

FLINT, MICH. – In an effort to help Flint families dealing with an unprecedented water and economic crisis, the nation’s largest union for food workers, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), has teamed up with some of America’s largest food manufacturers for a massive multi-ton donation of high-quality food to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan in Flint, Michigan.

As part of this effort, some of America’s best-known food manufacturers and longtime UFCW partners, including Cargill, ConAgra Foods, Hormel Foods, JBS USA, Pinnacle Foods, Downs Food Group and Ryder Logistics have joined forces to bring relief to Flint families in need. Together they’ve donated more than 60 tons of beef, pork, poultry, canned meats, ready-to-eat soups and pastas, and peanut butter.

“The crisis imposed on Flint families is a historic failure. To do what is right for these good people we must act, and we must act together,” UFCW 876 President Roger Robinson said. “Today, UFCW and its employer partners have come together for this community, demonstrating our ability to unite in advocacy for the protections all families deserve; to be the voice of the worker that is too often ignored; and to provide the strength and support to navigate all workers to a better life.”

“We firmly believe that everyone has the right to enjoy safe and nutritious food,” said Jarrod Gillig, general manager of Cargill’s beef processing plant in Schuyler that is producing the beef for Cargill’s donation.  “We know that protein, like ground beef, provides an array of essential nutrients to children and adults, and we believe it is important for us to provide some relief for a community in need of long-term support.”

“Our donation provides a variety of quality, protein-rich products for the people of Flint,” said Thomas L. Nuss, director of human resource operations at Hormel Foods. “We are proud to partner with the UFCW in this endeavor, and hope our effort will help those in need.”

“At JBS, we’re committed to giving back to the communities in which we live and work, and to helping when our neighbors are in need,” said Chris Gaddis, head of JBS USA human resources. “Families in Flint are experiencing extremely difficult times, and if we can help, we’re honored to offer our support to those families.”

Leading this effort to help feed Flint families in need are UFCW locals across the country, specifically members of UFCW Locals 38, (Milton, Pa.), 293 (Fremont, Neb.), 540 (Grapevine, Tex.), 617 (Fort Madison, Iowa), 1149 (Marshalltown, Iowa), 1161 (Worthington, Minn.) 1996 (Suwanee, Ga.),  who have made or contributed food or transportation to this effort.

In addition, UFCW Locals 876 and 951, which represent workers in Flint and across Michigan, have been coordinating the UFCW’s ongoing efforts to serve their Flint members, their families and the broader Eastern Michigan community.

“We are committed to helping not only our members, but the entire community effected by the Flint water crisis,” John Cakmakci, UFCW 951 president, said. “To date, we have raised over $100,000 to provide quality food and water to Flint residents. Next week, we will be hosting the first of many food and water give-aways for the nearly 500 UFCW 951 members and retirees living through this horrible situation.”

Additionally, Local 876 has contributed more than $14,000 as part of their on-going local relief efforts.

“Good, nutritious food is key to the Flint community’s recovery, and we can’t thank this incredible team enough for what they have done for Flint families and children” said Kara Ross, Vice President of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.
Background Statistics:

More than 125,000 pounds of food from eight companies in eight states and nine UFCW locals

Products included are: Fresh beef, ground beef,  pork, poultry, peanut butter, canned chicken, Chef Boyardee, Hormel chili, Dinty Moore Compleats beef stew, Peter Pan peanut butter, Skippy peanut butter singles, and Vienna Sausages

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