Over the past several months, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered our daily routines, but it has not dimmed the hope and giving spirit that shines through America’s sugar industry.
The majority of America’s sugar operations are located in small towns and rural areas, fostering a tightknit relationship between sugar farmers and workers and the communities where they live and work. From day one of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sugar industry has led efforts to feed and protect its neighbors in need.
When Amalgamated Sugar Company found itself with a surplus of masks above and beyond what was required to protect its workers, it donated 2,000 surplus cloth masks to the Boise Rescue Mission Ministries to help protect vulnerable men, woman and children from the spread of COVID-19.
“Amalgamated Sugar’s generous gift of 2,000 face masks provides a timely resource that is so appreciated,” said Reverend Bill Roscoe, president of Boise Rescue Mission Ministries. “I am amazed at their kindness and generosity to the Rescue Mission as we continue to serve people through very difficult circumstances.”
We are so proud of the sweet ways America’s sugar industry has lent a helping hand in support of our nation’s recovery. We’ve profiled many of them already, but are thankful to be able to keep sharing more examples of the humble generosity of our sugar producers.
American Crystal Sugar Company prides itself on the local ties its employees have fostered within the local communities. So, it wanted to find a way to share its appreciation for its hardworking employees as well as support local restaurants that have been affected by COVID-19.
American Crystal awarded each of its nearly 2,000 employees with $75 in gift cards for restaurants throughout the Red River Valley as well as near Sidney, Montana.
Sugar farmers have always been quick to share their blessings by supporting food donation efforts. However, the pandemic has created even greater food insecurity in many of our rural communities. In response, farmers and sugar companies have stepped up efforts to help, including Florida Crystals.
Florida Crystals and its farmers also donated sugar, rice and fresh produce to local hospitals during National Nurses Week and National Hospital Week in gratitude for the dedicated medical professionals on the front lines of this pandemic.
But sugar is more than just a key ingredient for many of the foods we know and love. As distilleries make hand sanitizer to support relief and recovery efforts, sugar companies have donated tens of thousands of pounds of a critical component: sugar.
Florida Crystals joined these ranks with its donation of 42,500 pounds of cane sugar to a local Florida rum distillery to produce and donate hand and surface sanitizer to first responders, hospitals, nursing homes and community members.
This season might look vastly different for our farmers, our factories and our families. The challenges created by the pandemic may be new, but our dedication to preserving vibrant rural communities, farm families and small businesses has long been a tenet of the industry’s commitment to sustainability and will continue to drive our efforts to aid recovery.
We’re all in this together and hope will persevere.