Supporting our communities through COVID-19

Our values guide our actions each day. Chief among them is our commitment to supporting the communities where we live and work. During the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, doing our part to help our neighbors and honor our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility is more important than ever. 

We are working closely with nonprofit organizations and other businesses to help meet the need for food and resources in our communities. In addition to donating our staple food products, we are also providing financial assistance to food pantries and feeding programs.

Our donations of food products to food distribution and feeding programs have supported thousands of families, and are fortunate to work with wonderful local non-profit organizations that make the critical connection to ensure that these resources are delivered to the people who need them most. We express our gratitude to the following organizations and the dedicated men and women who make these organizations strong:

  • AFL-CIO Community Services of Central Maryland in Maryland, USA
  • Catholic Charities of Baltimore in Maryland, USA
  • Central Pennsylvania Food Bank in Pennsylvania, USA
  • Cleveland Food Bank in Ohio, USA
  • Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano in California, USA
  • Second Harvest Food Bank in Louisiana, USA
  • Feed it Forward in Toronto, Canada
  • Banco Alimentar in Lisbon, Portugal 
  • Freguesia de Santa Iria de Azóia, São João da Talha e Bobadela Parish in Loures, Portugal
  • Nightingale Hospital in London, United Kingdom
  • East London COVID-19 Community Response in London, United Kingdom 
  • Thames Reach in London, United Kingdom
  • Whitechapel Mission in London, United Kingdom

We also collaborated with local businesses to help provide much-needed personal safety and protection through hand-sanitizer production initiatives. Donations of our sugar and molasses to distilleries are important ingredients to produce alcohol for hand sanitizer. Through these collaborative efforts, vital supplies of hand sanitizer were donated to first responders, healthcare workers, nursing homes and others in need. We commend the local distilleries who transformed their businesses to fill a void in emergency supplies, including:

  • Alcoholera de Zapopan in Zapopan, Mexico
  • Hiram Walker Distillery in Ontario, Canada
  • Celebration Distillation, Bayou Terrebonne Distillers, Happy Raptor Distilling, Lula Restaurant Distillery, Roulaison Distilling Co. and Seven Three Distilling Co. in Louisiana, USA
  • City of Yonkers Office of Emergency Management in New York, USA
  • DUH Distilling and SparkMacon in Georgia, USA
  • Falcon Spirits Distillery in California, USA
  • KOVAL Distillery in Illinois, USA 
  • Lost Ark Distilling in Maryland, USA
  • Tenth Ward Distilling Company in Maryland, USA

In addition to these collaborations, we are supporting the needs of the communities around us. In Belize, we pledged BZ$250,000 to the country’s COVID-19 National Oversight Committee’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response, which is working to prevent, test for and stop the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. We also provided supplies to produce more than 5,400 face masks provided to the sugarcane farming community around our Tower Hill Sugar Mill to help prevent the spread of the virus.

A similar effort in Mexico supplied more than 7,500 face masks to farmers and associations. We also donated COVID-19 prevention kits to thousands of farmers and families in our community in Veracruz, Mexico. The kits included a month’s worth of hard-to-find supplies, including containers for hand washing, liquid soap, Clorox, disinfectant spray, a hand soap dispenser, a garbage bin, fact sheets on the correct technique for washing hands and a banner with guidelines and precautionary measures for field workers. 

In the United Kingdom, we pledged £25,000 to an appeal set up by local east London hospitals to support the frontline National Health Service (NHS) workers who are battling COVID-19. The funds aided in the purchase of essential items such as wash kits, food deliveries and refreshments for the NHS staff working long hours away from their families. We also provided charitable grants to nonprofit organizations in our South London community to help them continue providing vital services to families, children and elderly residents.

Just as we continue making our staple food products to keep grocery store shelves stocked, we also remain committed to supporting our neighbors through these challenges. In times of crisis, the world comes together, and we will continue doing our part. 

From our family to yours, stay safe and well.

Luis Fernandez and Antonio L. Contreras