NEW YORK — Unilever PLC, Mars Inc., Nestle SA, Keurig Dr Pepper, Hain Celestial and dozens of other companies have teamed up with Frontline Impact Project to provide resources for health care workers and first responders during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Kind Snacks, through its Kind Foundation, launched the initiative alongside Project N95, the National Clearinghouse for personal protective equipment. Since then, Frontline Impact Project has connected thousands of institutions with enterprises donating food, beverages, lodging, personal care items, virtual fitness classes and mental health services.
“We were trying to support health care workers and first responders by donating healthy snacks to sustain them on their long shifts, and we realized the logistical challenge was real,” said Daniel Lubetzky, founder of Kind. “How could we equitably reach thousands of groups outside of our network? We noticed other corporate and civic actors were trying to get goods and services to those on the front lines and facing the same challenges we were. Then we discovered Project N95, which had already built connections with and vetted thousands of groups in need.”
The initiative offers a centralized place where institutions overwhelmed by individual inbound offers for aid can request and receive resources that meet their needs. It already has helped more than 180,000 people across 35 states.
With a growing number of partners on board, Frontline Impact Project now is gearing up to scale its impact.
Brands including Ellenos yogurt, Banza chickpea pasta, Belgian Boys, IWON Organics, gimMe Snacks, Paunchy Elephant, Hint Water, Vita Coco, Siggi’s, Rise Nitro Brewing Co. and Eat Like A Woman have signed on to donate food, which so far has been the most requested item on the platform.
Frozen and healthy snacks brand Saffron Road was one of the first food brands to commit resources to the project.
“At the start of the COVID-19 crisis, we swiftly began outreach to several organizations and health care facilities and discovered many were not able to accept or safely store large quantities of frozen shipments of our meals,” said Adnan Durrani, founder and CEO of Saffron Road. “When we learned of Frontline Impact Project, it was a no-brainer for us to join. Their platform and matching process greatly simplified our efforts and amplified our charitable work to seamlessly reach thousands of providers.”
Wrigley Co.’s Extra brand is helping meet an unexpected surge in demand for gums and mints on the platform.
“We hope that something as simple as a stick of gum can deliver some joy to essential workers and provide fresh breath while wearing their protective masks,” said Chanel Gant, brand manager at Extra Gum.
Demand for personal care items also is soaring on the platform. Unilever PLC is donating skincare products to help health care workers heal irritation caused by wearing face masks.
“We are proud to donate personal care products to Frontline Impact Project to support individuals serving on the front lines,” said Jessica Sobel, corporate strategy director at Unilever. “Our donation is part of United for America, a broader movement ignited by Unilever to inspire collective action to deliver food, medical supplies, hygiene products and other critical support to frontline aid organizations.”
Information for companies interested in submitting a donation is available at www.frontlineimpact.org.