Food Banks as Lighthouses: Chobani Deepens Commitment with New Pantry Initiative

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Chobani is throwing its weight behind a new initiative supporting local food banks.

Food Banks as Lighthouses: Chobani Deepens Commitment with New Pantry Initiative

By Lisa Johnston - 04/27/2020

Chobani is throwing its weight behind a new initiative supporting local food banks.

The Norwich, NY-headquartered dairy company has donated 1 million cups of yogurt to local communities in the past few weeks through partnerships with local and state governments, nonprofits, schools and other groups as a way to support those affected by the spread of the coronavirus.  

Recognizing that communities will continue to be impacted for some time to come, it’s now stepping up its efforts to better support food banks in particular.

Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya described his appreciation for food banks and their missions in an online video announcing the new initiative, known as Chobani Pantry.  

“I love what they do. But, most importantly, I love how they do it,” he said. “They're like lighthouses in these communities, a place where you can go get some food for yourself, for your family, for your children.”

The work of food banks has never been so critical, Ulukaya said, leading the company to deepen its commitment toward them.

In addition to turning its Chobani Cafe in New York City into a temporary food pantry, the dairy company is sending a truck full of food each day from its manufacturing plants in South Edmeston, NY, and Twin Falls, ID, to food banks across the United States.

It’s also amplifying the mission of Feeding America — a charity linking national food products donors with food banks — with its digital and social platforms encouraging donations.

“This is the just the beginning,” said Ulukaya. “We will get through this the only way we know how — together, united.”

Chobani operates under the founding mission of being “better food for more people,” and its 2018 Impact Report furthered this with an ambition to “make universal wellness happen soon.”

Its Chobani Incubator program, meanwhile, provides like-minded food start-ups with grants, mentorship and networking opportunities.

Peter McGuinness, Chobani chief marketing officer, is a 2017 CGT CMO of the Year winner, as well as a Path to Purchase Institute Hall of Famer.

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