Food prices jumped 10.9% in July 2022 from that same month the year prior, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and families and food banks alike are feeling the effects. In New Jersey alone, about 650,000 people are food insecure, according to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey.
In response to this need, Unilever announced Aug. 30 that it will donate $13 million in products to those in need.
The consumer goods company, which has its North American headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, is partnering with Feeding America and Kids in Need to distribute the products to food banks and schools across the country.
In addition to food products from Knorr, Hellmann’s and Sir Kensington’s, the donations include Seventh Generation household cleaners and personal care products from Dove, Vaseline, Degree, TRESemmé, Suave, AXE, and Love Beauty and Planet.
According to Unilever, home care and personal care products are in demand at food banks because they are not covered by the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
“Our partners from Feeding America shared the growing pressure food banks are under right now, and we have a responsibility to the communities we serve to help meet some of the need for personal care, home care and food pantry items,” Esi Eggleston Bracey, president of Unilever U.S. and CEO of Unilever Personal Care North America, said in a statement.
Eggleston Bracey added that the company has donated more than $50 million in products since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Just as we are seeing pandemic relief efforts wind down, record increases in food and high gas prices are bringing more people to food banks and food pantries for help,” said Erika Thiem, chief supply chain officer at Feeding America. “We are grateful to partners like Unilever that are stepping up their donations of food, personal hygiene and home care products to support our efforts to expand equitable access to the communities that need it most.”