As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to sweep across the United States, it is leaving a trail of victims—not only those who contract the virus but those who have lost their jobs due to the economic impact of the crisis. Several businesses are stepping up in an effort to help those who are unemployed, and other businesses are showing their appreciation for those on the frontlines of this pandemic. In the Southeast, Sweet Grown Alabama is encouraging consumers to buy from their local farms; Milo’s Tea is giving free tea to first responders and healthcare workers; Labor Finders is helping match workers with jobs; PDI is partnering with Vroom Delivery to help c-stores; Proseal is continuing to produce its tray-sealing solutions for the food industry; and UnitedHealthcare in Greensboro, North Carolina, is putting its cafeteria staff to work to help feed those in need in the community. And in an effort to keep the residents of his state safe, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed a stay-at-home order through April 14.
Sweet Grown Alabama encourages consumers to patronize local farms
Alabama farmers who sell directly to consumers, schools and restaurants are finding innovative ways to move products while following social distancing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Numerous Sweet Grown Alabama member farmers are utilizing social media and websites so consumers can place online orders. Farmers have also added delivery service and drive-thru pick-up options.
“These are certainly trying times. Not only are we concerned for everyone’s health; we’re also concerned for our farmers who are working hard to provide necessary products,” said Sweet Grown Alabama Director Ellie Watson. “The mandated closings of schools and restaurant dining rooms is absolutely necessary, but it also impacts typical sales for our farmers. We want individual consumers to know there are still options for buying from local farms while following all the CDC’s recommendations for stopping the spread of Covid-19.
“We’ve supplied our Sweet Grown Alabama members with best practices for welcoming customers to their farms during this time,” Watson continued. “We encourage farm visitors to be proactive as well. Call the farm to schedule a visit or place an order, bring hand sanitizer and, if you have to get out of your car, keep the suggested six-foot distance between you and another person.”
Click here for a list of Sweet Grown Alabama members who currently have produce, meat or other farm products available to sell. This list will be updated frequently.
Sweet Grown Alabama is a non-profit organization that enhances marketing opportunities for Alabama farmers by connecting retailers and consumers to Alabama-grown foods and other agricultural products. Farmers, product makers, restaurants, retailers and others are encouraged to join the branding program and use the Sweet Grown Alabama logo on their locally grown products.
Milo’s Tea giving free tea to healthcare professionals, first responders
To offer support to healthcare professionals during the coronavirus disaster, Milo’s Tea Co. is giving away up to 2,000 free gallons of its tea and lemonade to first responders battling against and treating the coronavirus.
“In this tumultuous time, our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the outbreak of Covid-19,” said Tricia Wallwork, Milo’s CEO. “The world is confronting an issue of enormous scale and human impact, and the Milo’s team is committed to people first, which includes supporting the communities in which we live and work.”
The giveaway program is available for fireman, policeman, national guard, FEMA, paramedics, doctors, nurses, and hospital and nursing home staff until April 30. Individuals can sign up to receive a free gallon while supplies last here.
For larger donation requests click here.
Milo’s Tea Co. is a family-owned, certified Women Owned Business located in Birmingham, Alabama.
Labor Finders has workers food, drug store retailers need
America is in an employment catastrophe due to the increase in coronavirus-related layoffs, according to the Department of Labor.
“At Labor Finders we are deeply concerned for everyone affected by the Coronavirus (Covid–19) pandemic and we all hope it ends soon. We are aware that many food and drug store retailers have been over-run with demands for everything from stocking, to food prep to cashiers along with general clean-up to complete sanitation for their food and drug stores along with their distribution centers,” said Jeffrey Burnett, president and CEO of Labor Finders, based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. “Each of our 200 offices throughout the country has the capability to assist in obtaining workers to meet your needs immediately.”
All Labor Finders offices are operational and are able to receive calls and fill orders to meet staffing needs. In addition, some of Labor Finder offices are hiring displaced workers for their clients.
If you are seeking employment, do not come by the offices in person…just call the office directly. To find the closest Labor Finders office in your area, click here.
PDI partners with Vroom Delivery to enable c-stores with order ahead, pickup, delivery services
Atlanta-based PDI, a global provider of back office, fuel pricing, supply chain logistics and loyalty solutions for the convenience retail and petroleum wholesale industries, has partnered with Vroom Delivery to launch an order ahead and pickup or delivery feature. Vroom Delivery, headquartered in Chicago, is the first mobile ordering platform specifically designed to meet the unique needs of the $654.3 billion convenience store industry (c-store).
Combined with PDI’s back office pricebook and accounting systems plus its Marketing Cloud loyalty platform, this will provide convenience retailers with a true comprehensive solution to enable mobile ordering, pickup and delivery.
“The partnership with Vroom Delivery provides PDI the opportunity to support c-stores and help them serve their communities during this global crisis,” said Brandon Logsdon, president and general manager of Marketing Cloud Solutions at PDI. “With Vroom Delivery’s mobile order and delivery service and our PDI Marketing Cloud platform, convenience retailers gain a much-needed solution to help fight this pandemic and give customers a safe alternative for buying essentials.”
This partnership benefits convenience retailers and petroleum wholesalers in the following ways:
- Getting up and running quickly with a digital, delivery and pickup solution.
- Keeping c-store personnel, customers and delivery drivers connected with cloud-based tools that provide visibility throughout the purchase process.
- Helping retailers preserve margin by owning the end-to-end solution, enabling delivery of age-restricted products and providing delivery jobs to employees.
- Utilizing a solution to compete with online ordering capabilities.
PDI continues to look for new ways to more holistically serve the convenience retail industry from single store operators to multi-store chains. Vroom Delivery was built by convenience retail operators for this industry, making it an ideal fit with PDI’s suite of software applications for the convenience retail and petroleum wholesale industries.
“We’re excited to partner with PDI to quickly bring new capabilities to convenience retailers and their customers,” says John Nelson, CEO of Vroom Delivery.
Proseal continues commitment to customers amidst Covid-19 outbreak
The Covid-19 outbreak has placed a great strain on the food industry due to the increased demand.
Proseal, a Richmond, Virginia-based manufacturer of tray sealing equipment, is committed to supporting its customers and their production needs. Proseal continues to follow all protocols issued by federal, state and local governments to combat Covid-19, as ensuring the health and safety of its customers and employees is of the utmost importance.
Proseal remains open during these unprecedented times and continues to provide tray-sealing solutions throughout the food industry. They continue to manufacture machinery and spare parts in the United States, which are currently available to ship from the Richmond headquarters.
Gov. Lee requires Tennesseans to remain at home
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has signed Executive Order 23 requiring that Tennesseans stay home unless they are carrying out essential activities as data was showing an increase in citizen movement across the state.
“Over the last few weeks, we have seen decreases in movement around the state as
Tennesseans socially distance and stay at home,” Lee said. “However, in recent days we have seen data indicating that movement may be increasing, and we must get these numbers trending back down. I have updated my previous executive order to clearly require that Tennesseans stay at home unless they are carrying out essential activities.”
Data from the Tennessee Department of Transportation analyzed traffic patterns for March 2020. While safer at home measures and further restrictions on businesses showed a steep drop-off in vehicle movement from March 13-29, data beginning on March 30 indicated travel was trending upward, again.
The Administration also analyzed data from Unacast to understand cell phone mobility and determine movement trends among people. Unacast indicated the movement of Tennesseans was trending toward pre-Covid-19 levels.
“The month of April stands to be an extremely tough time for our state as we face the potential for a surge in Covid-19 cases,” said Lee. “Every Tennessean must take this seriously, remain at home and ensure we save lives.”
The executive order remains in effect until April 14 at 11:59 p.m.
UnitedHealthcare turns cafeteria into meal-prep base for Greensboro residents in need
Many Greensboro, North Carolina, families will have access to free, healthy meals, as UnitedHealthcare of North Carolina reallocates its campus cafeteria staff to provide 6,000 meals each week, at least for the next seven weeks. The effort comes as nonprofits report massive increases in the number of families needing help in accessing food.
Leaders of UnitedHealth Group, the parent company of UnitedHealthcare, devised the plan to help Compass Group foodservice workers get back to work in recently closed office cafeterias in several U.S. cities, including Minneapolis and Las Vegas. The UnitedHealthcare Greensboro campus cafeteria will be among those preparing hot and cold meals to be distributed throughout Guilford County, which had one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the nation before the coronavirus crisis.
UnitedHealthcare is working with eight community partners to distribute meals and ensure Guilford County residents are fed. Those organizations include Greensboro Urban Ministry, One Step Further, Christ United Methodist Church and Family Service of the Piedmont; as well as Senior Resources of Guilford, YWCA Family Shelter, Greensboro Housing Authority and Hope Academy.