In a heartwarming act of corporate goodwill, GraceKennedy Foods USA recently donated hundreds of bottles of coconut water to front line hospital workers at three hospitals in New York and New Jersey and first responders in the City of Mt Vernon, NY.
The product donations were made against the backdrop of unprecedented devastation that both states have endured over the past few weeks due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The recipient hospitals were East Orange General Hospital in East Orange, NJ, Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital in Mt. Vernon, New York and Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn, New York.
“As one of the largest food exporters from Jamaica, we looked at what was happening with the health crisis in the region, and we wanted to find a useful and practical way to salute the hundreds of front line health care workers and first responders who continue to demonstrate great courage and who instill herculean hope during a time of deep despair in the tri-state region,” Derrick Reckord, CEO of GraceKennedy Foods USA said.
“We salute them for their tremendous sacrifice, and we want to let them know that Grace appreciates their contribution, and that Grace cares about them and the communities that we serve, who know us as the caring, good food people for decades,” Reckord added.
The donations were graciously received by executives of the facilities. In the case of Mt. Vernon, a community that was particularly hard hit by Covid-19, the city’s mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard was on hand to receive the products.
“On behalf of the City of Mount Vernon and the first responders of the FDMV, MVPD and DPW, I would like to thank GraceKennedy Foods USA for its generous donation of coconut water”, Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard told a gathering of city officials at the product handover.
“Your decision to help our City and hospital (Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital) during this crisis is an example of community engagement our employees and partner first responders have benefited from since the onset of the pandemic,” the mayor added.
East Orange Hospital in New Jersey was equally upbeat about the donation.
“Our front line hospital workers stayed in the trenches and they have gone through more stress than can be imagined over the past two months,” Dr. Winston Scott, a physician at East Orange General Hospital and president of Caribbean Medical Mission said. “We are therefore very grateful to Grace for this very kind offer of coconut water that will keep our workers hydrated as the weather gets warmer”, he noted.
Derrick Reckord pointed out that his regional staff has worked very hard over the past two months to keep the supply chain of Grace products serviced citywide, but especially in the hardest hit areas.
“Our drivers and our logistics and sales team made it happen and we recognize and appreciate the contribution of so many to keep the tri-state served at such a difficult time,” he said.