Skip to main content
Purpose, Strategy & Culture

Community support during the COVID-19 Crisis

Katrina Briddell
Manager, Philanthropy & Community Engagement

As the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues, the impacts to families and communities are increasingly coming in to focus. Relief and response efforts are developing rapidly, with governments, companies and foundations all lining up support.

To date, The Hershey Company has committed over $2 million in cash and product donations to support COVID-19 response efforts around the world. Our corporate giving team is working closely with our community nonprofit partners to ensure they are supported during this time. We anticipate that our support and community response efforts will continue to evolve in the weeks and months to come as the situation develops.

In the US, we are focusing our response on supporting community safety net and basic needs organizations and have temporarily expanded our product donation efforts to include hospitals and health care organizations. Cash donations thus far have been made to COVID-19 response funds at organizations including United Way Worldwide, Feeding America, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, as well as several local United Ways and food banks in communities where we operate. We have also donated large shipments of Hershey products to hospitals in each of the communities where we have offices or manufacturing facilities, as well as to Convoy of Hope, which has delivered our products, combined with other food, water and cleaning supplies to food banks in 11 states as part of the response. We are also donating product for New York City health care workers via the #FoundersGive initiative.

We are also collaborating closely with the Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in our hometown of Hershey, Pa. We have provided a temporary logistics space for the expanded supply chain operations of all Penn State Health locations while lending staff expertise from across our enterprise to collaborate on other critical projects as needed. We have also donated a variety of personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves and hand sanitizer stations and refills.

We recently invested over $1 million to establish a mask production line in Hershey, PA as well. Manufacturing disposable masks provides us with flexibility and independence to ensure an ongoing supply of masks for our employees and their families in the months to come. A significant portion of the masks we produce are also being made available to nonprofit organizations, health care and assisted living facilities, and other community organizations that need them.

Globally, Hershey continues to make a range of donations of cash and product to support COVID-19 response efforts in some of our key markets, including China, India, Brazil and Malaysia. We are also working closely with our fellow cocoa industry partners to support response efforts in cocoa communities in West Africa. Our teams are coordinating with both NGOs and governments in each of our locations to support these response efforts.

We also want to thank our employees, who have stepped up by making donations, volunteering their time and expertise, and finding thoughtful, yet safe, ways to make more moments of goodness in their neighborhoods and communities. We are supporting their efforts by matching employee donations dollar for dollar and rewarding their volunteer efforts via our Dollars for Doers program. We are also providing grants to employees and their families who may experience hardship during the pandemic via our Hershey Company Employees 1st Fund.