Smucker supports employees, communities

ORRVILLE  The J. M. Smucker Company announced measures last week to support its employees and communities as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

“We understand the uncertainty people are feeling right now, and are committed to do our part to ease some of that concern by supporting our employees and communities, while ensuring people and pets have access to a steady supply of food,” Mark Smucker, President and CEO, The J. M. Smucker Company, said in a news release.

In addition to implementing extensive sanitation measures and temperature screenings at its locations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep employees safe, the company has introduced the following support measures:

* In an effort to avoid furloughing employees, the Company is providing up to 12 weeks of full pay and benefits continuation for employees whose manufacturing or distribution facility is closed or whose roles cannot be performed due to the COVID-19 situation.

* A one-time $1,500 hardship award is being issued to approximately 5,700 employees in manufacturing, distribution and other functions where employees are diligently serving on the ground to ensure the delivery of food to fellow citizens. This award is a gesture of gratitude for how employees have embraced the challenges presented by COVID-19 and to support any financial needs they may have due to the impact of COVID-19.

* Paid sick leave (14 days) will be provided to individuals who must be absent from work to care for dependents or household members who test positive for COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms and/or are directed by a medical provider or Company protocol to self-quarantine.

* As a self-insured employer, the company is paying for 100 percent of COVID-19 testing for employees and all virtual health screenings conducted by the Company’s insurance provider.

* Availability of mental health resources are being reinforced to employees across the company.

* The company is seeding an assistance fund with $100,000 to support employees significantly impacted by COVID-19.

The company is taking the following measures to support its communities:

* Maximizing production at its manufacturing facilities, all of which are currently open, to make its most in-demand products and expanding the hours of many of its distribution centers so retailers can continually replenish their inventories, ensuring people and their pets have access to the food they need.

* Donating $300,000 in total to the Red Cross, Feeding America and the United Way to support COVID-19 relief efforts for people and pets.

* Matching 100 percent of employee donations to more than 20 local and national charities.

* Making a special donation of products from the Company’s portfolio of brands to Feeding America and the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

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