Ahold Delhaize announced today that together with its local brands, it has deployed more than $170 million on COVID-19 relief and support efforts thus far. These efforts range from health and safety measures for associates and customers, to enhanced benefits for frontline associates, to charitable donations to support local communities.
“In this time of acute need we see people coming together across all our communities to help each other through this pandemic,” said Frans Muller, Ahold Delhaize President and CEO. “Ahold Delhaize and all our local brands in the US, Europe and Indonesia are taking substantial measures to ensure the safety of both associates and customers in response to the significant challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fighting this requires everyone’s support and I am pleased with our efforts to date.”
Muller continued, “I want to recognize the resilience and courage demonstrated by all the medical and emergency professionals working on the front line. Our own sector has also proven to be vital at this time – supported by associates across all our brands, in our supply chains and at our support offices. Their determined efforts and the care and teamwork they exhibit every day fill me with pride. I am both impressed and humbled by their actions in this time of great need. Finally, I am grateful to customers in all the communities we serve for respecting social distancing guidelines and local health regulations that help protect not only themselves but our associates as well.”
Fighting COVID-19 is requiring all these efforts and more, including the following actions already taken:
• To further safeguard associate health, local brands across Ahold Delhaize have introduced additional safety and protective measures for associates, totaling $44 million. Among the protective measures included are plexiglass shields at registers and new store flow patterns to maintain social distancing.
• Local brands in the US, Europe and Indonesia are recognizing the considerable and exceptional efforts associates are taking by enhancing pay and / or associate benefits.
• Ahold Delhaize brands are providing further economic support to communities, with their combined commitments to hire more than 40,000 associates. Local brands are liaising especially with displaced people in industries that have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as travel, tourism and hospitality.
• Local brands across Ahold Delhaize have also enhanced associate assistance programs to provide health and wellbeing support.
• All local brands across Ahold Delhaize have introduced new in-store signage and other markers to help customers cooperate in maintaining social distancing protocols.
• Across the US and Europe, our brands have introduced special opening hours for the elderly and other vulnerable populations as well as essential personnel who are responding to the crisis.
• Some brands have also established special grocery delivery services for healthcare workers.
• Local brands have further enhanced already stringent cleaning and hygiene measures, like cart cleaning before and after use.
• Collectively, the Ahold Delhaize brands have so far committed nearly $20 million to charitable donations to support the following: local food banks, feeding first responders in critically hard-hit areas, national and private health systems, the Red Cross and to medical facilities to further research on COVID-19.