ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company – The Coca-Cola Foundation – today pledged $1 million to the American Red Cross to support local relief efforts related to Hurricane Irma. These funds will help provide immediate resources for necessary food and shelter and will aid in long-term rebuilding efforts in the Southeastern United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This donation builds on the $1 million the Foundation granted for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in August.
The Coca-Cola Company and its local bottlers also continue making product donations to support communities impacted by the devastating storms in the Southeastern United States and the Caribbean.
The Coca-Cola system, including Coca-Cola Beverages Florida, Coca-Cola Puerto Rico Bottlers and Coca-Cola North America, have donated nearly 200,000 bottles of water, juice, sports drinks and other beverages to people affected by Hurricane Irma so far, with more expected in the coming days. This adds to the more than 1.1 million drinks distributed to the American Red Cross and other relief organizations helping people impacted by Hurricane Harvey last month.
"Because of the Coca-Cola system’s local footprint in communities across the country, we are usually in a unique position to help in times of disaster. As we saw just a few weeks ago along the Gulf Coast, it’s critical that businesses and people do what they can to come together and support each other,” said Sandy Douglas, Executive Vice President and President, Coca-Cola North America; and Board Member of The Coca-Cola Foundation. “We’re mobilizing with our local bottlers to donate beverages and funds to support the good work being done by authorities and relief agencies."
The Coca-Cola system also is supporting its approximately 9,000 associates in affected areas of Florida and the Caribbean, in addition to the approximately 2,200 associates in Texas who were in Harvey’s path. Many employees have been evacuated from their homes and it is expected that more employees will need help and care.
The company is matching employee contributions made to the Coca-Cola Employee Disaster Relief Fund up to $100,000. Proceeds will go to help Coca-Cola system associates who are impacted by the storms.
“Coca-Cola Beverages Florida stands with our fellow Floridians as we all have prepared for and will soon recover from Hurricane Irma,” said Troy Taylor, Chairman and CEO, Coca-Cola Beverages Florida. “Our local Coca-Cola team is ready to help our customers and neighbors throughout the impacted area.”
Added Alberto de la Cruz, CEO of Coca-Cola Puerto Rico Bottlers and Coca-Cola St. Maarten: “Given the devastation that Hurricane Irma caused to our communities in Puerto Rico and neighboring Caribbean islands, Coca-Cola Puerto Rico Bottlers is proud of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s support of relief efforts through the American Red Cross. In addition to the monetary support, our local associates are coming together to provide support on the ground, including beverages, supplies and food to those in need.”
In the storm’s aftermath, the Coca-Cola system continues to evaluate how it can help the impacted states of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. In Georgia, Coca-Cola and its bottling partners Coca-Cola UNITED and Coca-Cola Consolidated have been delivering as many beverages as possible to serve customers before and after the storm.
Coca-Cola is also giving consumers opportunities to support the American Red Cross in their relief efforts during the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. People can visit Coke.com/give and enter codes found under the caps of Coca-Cola beverages – and inside multi-packs – and convert them into donations to the American Red Cross.