As people face the challenges and uncertainty caused by the spread of COVID-19, heroic work is happening around the clock to keep food on family tables and store shelves. That work is happening in Chattanooga, thanks to local employees and businesses, including 10 Cargill employees, who show up every day to nourish people.
Local farmers and ranchers, retail workers, manufacturing and foodservice companies, food shelves and those who transport food are working every day to keep people and animals fed.
Local employers are also investing to focus on safety and keep facilities operating during the COVID-19 crisis. Cargill has implemented safety measures like temperature testing, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing, prohibiting visitors and offering staggered breaks and shift flexibility. Employees are provided with, and encouraged to use, face coverings as a supplement to the many social distancing practices already put into place.
Food manufacturing has been deemed an essential service, which puts employees on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. To recognize this contribution, Cargill has provided its employees temporary pay incentives and waived co-pays for COVID-19 testing.
"We’re working every day to keep people safe and dinner on the table,” said Jim Orlinski, Cargill’s Chattanooga general manager. “That means keeping our plant open, giving back to the community and making sure our local economy stays strong.”
Nonprofit partners, including Action for Healthy Kids, the American Farmland Trust – Farmer Relief Fund, and the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, as well as local foodbanks and social organizations, are also playing a critical role in helping to lift up the local economy and make sure no one goes hungry. Cargill is supporting them with both food donations and monetary contributions.
“We are inspired by the tireless work of Chattanooga’s doctors, nurses, first responders, workers and those in agriculture who are making sure people and animals are cared for and no one goes hungry,” said Mr. Orlinski. “Together we are going to overcome this crisis and come out of this even more connected.”