Back in March when the Covid-19 crisis first took hold in the United States, Unilever moved quickly to create United for America: an initiative designed to support communities in need during the pandemic.

Launched as part of our global commitment to contribute €100 million to protect lives and livelihoods, United for America is a long-term venture with a first phase to provide product donations and to unite our employees, suppliers and partners in a national Day of Service.

As part of this, Unilever is collaborating with Feeding America and Direct Relief to share $20 million (€18.2 million) worth of food, hygiene products, medical supplies and other critical items with these aid organisations whose local networks are well-placed to ensure they reach those most in need.

In the past two months more than 1.86 million products have been donated to communities most affected by Covid-19, and 200,000 face masks have been donated to hospitals along with a $2 million (€1.8 million) donation to Direct Relief from Dove and Vaseline to help fund personal protective equipment, ventilators and medicines.

A photo of Unilever employees packing boxes for the United for America initiative

The first Day of Service

Last week, United for America made its biggest impact to date with its first annual Day of Service event on Thursday 21 May, enlisting nearly 100 suppliers and partners, and thousands of employees both in front line operations and at home to provide products, time and gratitude to those affected by Covid-19.

On the Day of Service, we pledged that the equivalent value of one day’s worth of products manufactured at our US factories – $12 million or close to €10.9 million – would be donated to United for America’s community partners for distribution. The donation comprised bottles, packs, jars and boxes from Unilever brands including Dove, Seventh Generation, Suave, Knorr, Love Beauty and Planet and many more.

Unilever employees across the US also volunteered thousands of hours of their time during the day, providing support to national and local relief organisations in a variety of ways such as mentoring young people virtually, providing support at food banks, donating blood, and sewing masks. More than 90 partners from the media sector, our supply chain and a range of other industries also joined the efforts, creating one of the largest community support endeavours in Unilever history.

Finally, to recognise the incredible work being done by food bank teams across the US through the pandemic, we invited consumers, partners and employees to send them personal notes of thanks. More than 4,100 messages were written and shared.

A partnership built on purpose

“We are only just seeing the beginnings of the impact this crisis will have, and we are committed to providing access to food and household essentials Americans need,” said Fabian Garcia, President of Unilever North America.

“I am so inspired by our Unilever employees who are taking action and I’m thankful that a number of organisations, individuals and partners across industries have joined us in support of this movement. Only by working together can we amplify our impact and help more Americans.”

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