As part of its United for America initiative, Unilever says it will work with major retailers to help struggling communities in U.S. cities tackle three urgent challenges facing Americans during the pandemic: the education gap, access to food and essential supplies and the She-Cession.
Six months into the pandemic, the needs have never been greater. Unilever is making good on its long-term commitment to serve essential organizations and the individuals, families and vulnerable populations affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It is offering a new round of support and a new approach that includes a focus on working with retailers and local NGOs to help communities most in need.
United for America will contribute an additional $5 million in goods and services from September through the end of the year. This brings the total of goods and services donated to $25 million since the United for America initiative was launched in March.
“The pandemic continues to take a toll on education, jobs and access to food. At Unilever, we feel it is our responsibility to do all we can to help struggling communities who are feeling this most. We know that we are stronger together, so we’re proud to unite with some of our largest retail partners across the country to help create more impact,” said Fabian Garcia, president of Unilever North America.
Retailers such as Dollar General, Vons, Pavillions, Albertsons, HEB and others, are partnering with Unilever and will contribute a range of items including computers and data plans, donations to local food banks and financial support to community organizations.
In addition, United for America will partner with Luminary, a global collaboration hub and community that empowers professional women to develop the skills they need to succeed in business. This partnership will provide 250 annual fellowships to women-owned businesses, with at least 50 percent of fellowships going to businesses owned by women of color.
Action being taken in priority areas of focus
Unilever, along with a group of leading retail and nonprofit partners, will support 10 U.S. communities, including Houston, Minneapolis, Fort Wayne, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Detroit, the Carolinas and New York City, with a focus on supporting those with vulnerable populations, including cash-strapped families, women-owned businesses and Black and Hispanic populations.
The core of this initiative is tackling challenges facing Americans in priority areas such as the impact of the widening education gap, access to food and essential supplies and the She-cession, which is the disproportionate economic impact that the pandemic has had on women.
Schools are in session but not every student has what they need to learn either in-person or virtually. Organizations like Boys & Girls Clubs of America are working to support their youth during this time, safely providing in-person programming even when schools cannot open their doors, to ensure that students have the resources they need to succeed. Unilever and retail partners will support Boys & Girls Clubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Philadelphia and Southern California and other local NGOs across the country to create equal opportunity education, providing funding for computers, technology resources and educational supplies amidst the growing digital divide caused by school closures.
Access to food and essential supplies
The economy has been severely impacted due to the pandemic and many households are having to make the hard decision between keeping the lights on or paying for food and essentials. Unilever and its partners will continue to donate essential food and supplies to communities with unprecedented need.
Women and women-owned business have taken a substantial hit during the pandemic. By the end of April, women’s job losses had erased a decade of employment gains.
Unilever is partnering with Luminary, a women-focused collaboration organization and community space that will provide women-owned businesses with the resources they need to pivot and grow their businesses, keep workers employed and thrive through the pandemic. The partnership is focused on supporting long-term business resilience and provides annual fellowships, access to expert-led, virtual small business boot camps and participation in a national Recovery Summit and pitch competition.