Charlotte, N.C.-based Dole Food Co., which grows about 80% of its leaf and lettuce items in California at this time of year, has implemented strict COVID-19 safety protocols in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local, state and federal agencies to ensure the safety of its employees in the office, growing fields and processing facilities, said Bil Goldfield, director of corporate communications.
Meanwhile, the company continues to distribute products to homebound families throughout the pandemic.
“It is a delicate balance, which resulted in a modified processing and shipping schedule to ensure the health and well-being of our plant employees, which remained our top priority,” Goldfield said.
On the consumer level, Dole has recognized its responsibility as “an essential business and public resource to supply needed nutritious food and resources during this time,” he said.
The company launched an At-Home Parents Resource Page in late March for homebound parents and others faced with the additional challenge of educating kids at home due to COVID-19.
The page has links to some of the most useful family- and kid-friendly resources developed by Dole over the years, as well as new materials being created by Dole and its partners, Goldfield said.
There are easy-to-use nutrition tips, healthy recipes that kids can help prepare, free printables, at-home games and activity ideas and research-backed suggestions from Melanie Marcus, Dole’s health and communications manager.
The page also includes Dole’s latest collaborations with the national nonprofit Action for Healthy Kids to reach kids at school and at home.
The two organizations joined forces last year and created a free, online Healthy Eating Toolkit that features a collection of plant-based breakfasts, lunches and snacks specifically created for families with kids.
It gives parents and the public-in-need access to years’ worth of Dole’s recipes, research, nutrition and healthy-eating resources, Goldfield said.