GraceKennedy shows appreciation to front-line workers in New York & New Jersey
IN A heart-warming act of corporate goodwill, GraceKennedy Foods USA yesterday donated hundreds of bottles of coconut water to front-line health workers at three hospitals in New York and New Jersey.
The donations were made against the backdrop of unprecedented devastation that both states have endured over the past few weeks owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Health personnel who benefited are attached to East Orange General Hospital in East Orange, New Jersey; Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital in Mt Vernon, New York, and Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, New York.
“As one of the largest food exporters from Jamaica, we looked at what was happening with the health crisis in the region, and we wanted to find a useful and practical way to salute the hundreds of front-line healthcare workers and first responders who continue to demonstrate great courage, and who instil Herculean hope during a time of deep despair in the tri-state region,” Derrick Reckord, chief executive officer of GraceKennedy Foods USA, told The Gleaner.
“We salute them for their tremendous sacrifice, and we want to let them know that Grace appreciates their contribution, and that Grace cares about them and the communities that we serve, as we have been known as the caring, good food people for decades,” Reckord added.
The donations were graciously received by executives of all three facilities. In the case of Mt Vernon, a community that was particularly hard hit by COVID-19, the city’s mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard was delighted to receive the products.
“On behalf of the City of Mount Vernon, I would like to thank GraceKennedy for its generous donation of coconut water for the Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital, a facility that has been vital in managing the COVID-19 crisis,” Patterson-Howard told a gathering of city officials at the handover. “Your decision to help our city and hospital is an example of excellent community engagement,” the mayor added.
East Orange Hospital in New Jersey was equally upbeat about the donation. “Our front-line hospital workers stayed in the trenches and they have gone through more stress than can be imagined over the past two months,” Dr Winston Scott, a physician at East Orange General Hospital and president of Caribbean Medical Mission, told The Gleaner. “We are therefore very grateful to Grace for this very kind offer of coconut water that will keep our workers hydrated as the weather gets warmer,” he noted.
Reckord said that his regional employees have worked very hard over the past two months to keep the supply chain of Grace products serviced citywide, but especially in the hardest hit areas. “Our drivers and our logistics and sales team made it happen and we recognise and appreciate the contribution of so many to keep the tri-state served at such a difficult time,” he said.