Giant Food and Unilever Knorr have teamed up with U.S. Dream Academy, an organization that aims to empower the nation’s children to reach their dreams through academic, social and values enrichment. They will fight food insecurity in the Ward 8 community of Washington, D.C.
The companies plan to use customer donations of non-perishable items, a virtual cooking class hosted by Giant’s Ward 8 nutritionist as well as Unilever chefs and nutritionists and a $25,000 donation from Unilever to aid in the fight.
“Giant is proud to team up with quality food brands like Knorr, with shared values of supporting our local communities in need with nutritious food,” said Felis Andrade, director of external communications and community relations. “This recent work to benefit the U.S. Dream Academy families in the Ward 8 community is just one effort as part of our larger mission to address hunger issues in the neighborhoods we serve.”
For a week in May, Giant hosted donation bins at all 164 of its stores throughout the Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Delaware region, offering customers the chance to get involved to support their neighbors in need. Customers who purchased five participating Knorr Rice or Pasta Sides received two free cans of participating Giant own-brand soups. Customers were then given the option to donate any of the items from their purchase in store to directly benefit U.S. Dream Academy Ward 8 families.
Giant and Unilever nutritionists as well as Unilever chefs also hosted a virtual cooking class for over 100 people in the Ward 8 community to teach healthy and budget-friendly cooking and nutrition tips. As part of the virtual cooking class, Giant donated meal kits which included recipe ingredients and Knorr provided recipe booklets, cutting boards, aprons and insulated tote bags to all of the participating families.
Rounding out the recent efforts, Unilever announced a monetary donation of $25,000 to the U.S. Dream Academy to support families in the Ward 8 community.
“U.S. Dream Academy is proud to partner with Giant and Unilever to ensure families have access to quality, healthy food options in their own community,” said C. Diane Wallace Booker, EVP and chief strategy officer at U.S. Dream Academy. “Ward 8 was hardest hit by the pandemic and we saw food insecurity at alarming rates during this time. We were pleased to collaborate to bring together fun, learning and awareness raising around healthy eating and the need for greater access to healthy, affordable food in Ward 8. We also engaged our young people to help us raise awareness – one of our DreamKids designed a food ‘superhero’ to promote the healthy food campaign in the Giant stores. And over 100 Ward 8 residents had lots of fun in their new Knorr aprons, cooking and learning together as a family and enjoying the fellowship of community in the virtual cooking class led by the Knorr Chef.”
“Unilever’s Knorr brand believes that wholesome, nutritious food should be accessible and affordable to all,” said Christina DiPietro, team lead at Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey based Unilever. “We are proud to commence this partnership between Giant and US Dream Academy, helping to fight food insecurity in the local community. It was the Unilever Knorr team’s privilege to conduct a virtual cooking class and provide nutritious recipes to the families of Ward 8. We look forward to future partnerships bringing purpose to life in-store and in the communities we serve.”