Zaandam, the Netherlands, February 17, 2021 – Facing the unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Ahold Delhaize and all its brands have supported associates, customers, and local communities through several initiatives. The total amount of this COVID-19 care is nearly €680 million, including €21 million of charitable donations. The local brands of Ahold Delhaize created more than 45,000 new jobs to meet the increased customer demand and care for neighbors during the pandemic. In addition, two U.S. brands of Ahold Delhaize, Giant Food and Stop & Shop, also each made commitments to contribute funds, totaling more than €1.4 billion, to improve the security of pension benefits for their associates. Ahold Delhaize and its local brands are continuing their COVID-19 care in 2021, with an additional provision of €10 million for charitable donations this year.
“2020 underscored the vital role we as grocery retailers play in society and I’m extremely proud of how teams across all our brands have responded to this crisis, putting the health and safety of customers and associates front and center, while keeping the supply chain running and ensuring customers were able to access essential food supplies during this pandemic,” said Frans Muller, Chief Executive Officer of Ahold Delhaize. “Additionally, we have taken our COVID-19 care a step further by rewarding associates with extra pay for their hard work and making substantial charitable donations, for instance by making food available to the most vulnerable in our local communities. As COVID-19 is still very much part of the daily lives of the communities in which we operate, we will continue our COVID-19 care in 2021. We have allocated additional funding for continued support of the communities, served by our local brands so that we can continue to support those in need.”
The brands of Ahold Delhaize made swift adjustments in processes to continue to serve customers safely, via home delivery, through click and collect, and at local stores. Next to health and safety measures, the COVID-19 care comprised extra appreciation pay for associates, additional paid sick leave for US associates, the creation of additional jobs, and donations to local and national charities, aimed at supporting the communities in which the various local brands operate.
COVID-19 care for communities, associates and customers
- To further safeguard customer and associate health, local brands across Ahold Delhaize have deployed safety and protective measures on a wide scale. Among the protective measures are plexiglass shields at registers, face masks, extra sanitation and new store flow patterns to maintain social distancing.
- Across the U.S. and Europe, our brands have introduced special opening hours for the elderly and other vulnerable populations as well as special grocery delivery services for healthcare workers.
- Local brands in the U.S. and Europe are recognizing the considerable and exceptional efforts associates have made by enhancing pay and associate benefits.
- Ahold Delhaize brands are providing further economic support to communities, creating extra jobs for over 45,000 people.
- Collectively, the Ahold Delhaize brands have given €21 million to charitable donations in 2020 to support the following: local food banks, feeding first responders in critically hard-hit areas, the Red Cross, and to medical facilities.
In addition to these efforts, the local brands of Ahold Delhaize also made commitments to invest in the pension benefits of its associates. In 2020, the Ahold Delhaize brands Giant Food and Stop & Shop committed to invest more than €1.4 billion to improve the financial security of U.S. pension benefits in the following plans: the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union – Industry Pension Fund (Link), the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) – Local 1500 Pension Fund (Link), and the Food Employers Labor Relations Association and United Food and Commercial Workers Pension Fund and the Mid-Atlantic UFCW and Participating Employers Pension Fund (Link).
This communication includes forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts may be forward-looking statements. Words and expressions such as continu(e)/(ing)/(ed), 2021, challenges, initiatives, commitments/committed, to, contribute, improve, provision, putting, while, further, by, still, will, allocated, so that, can, adjustments, creation/creating, aimed at, safeguard, are, introduced, recognizing, enhancing, providing, support or invest in or other similar words or expressions are typically used to identify forward-looking statements.
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