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NBA’s Irving, Lineage helping Feeding America fight COVID-19

March 25, 2020
Temperature-controlled logistics company pledges $5 million to virus response efforts

NBA player Kyrie Irving is partnering with Lineage Logistics and Feeding America to raise awareness for the hunger-relief organization’s Share A Meal campaign, which aims to help provide 100 million meals* in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In addition, Lineage, a provider of temperature-controlled logistics, committed to donating $5 million to outbreak response efforts, including an initial $1 million contribution to Feeding America’s COVID-19 response fund to help kick off the new campaign.

Irving, point guard for the New Jersey Nets, is contributing $323,000, and asking family, friends, fans and partners to join him in supporting Feeding America’s COVID-19 response fund. Lineage will match all donations up to $200,000 to City Harvest, New York City’s private response to hunger and largest food rescue organization, and in addition, Irving and Lineage are donating over 250,000 meals** to City Harvest to help those affected by the pandemic.

“Seeing the effects of COVID-19 reach our families, our schools, our jobs and access to food has really impacted me,” Irving said. “I am excited to partner with Feeding America and Lineage Logistics to launch the Share A Meal campaign to help marginalized communities get the food resources they require during this time, and to work with City Harvest to distribute meals to my neighbors in need across the New York area.

“Thank you to everyone on the front line working to keep all of us safe, healthy and fed. Together, we can change the world one small gesture at a time.”

In response to the COVID-19 crisis and its devastating economic impact, City Harvest is stepping up to rescue and deliver more food to meet the increasing need. Deemed an essential service by New York Gov Andrew Cuomo and the state, its fleet of 22 trucks will continue to be on the road, working to make sure all children, families and New Yorkers in need have enough food in the coming weeks, months and beyond.

“The COVID-19 virus presents extraordinary challenges for moving, storing and distributing food on a large scale,” said Greg Lehmkuhl, Lineage’s president & CEO. “At Lineage, we’ve built a business dedicated to shepherding food all over the world, and that experience puts us in a unique position to help overcome these challenges. We want to do our part by sharing what we have to offer, including temperature-controlled warehouse space, supply chain logistics expertise and financial resources.”

Lineage is working with a variety of strategic partners, including Irving, and Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s foundation, Eat. Learn. Play., to achieve its campaign goal of 100 million meals. Recognizing that COVID-19 is a worldwide crisis, Lineage also is working with the Global FoodBanking Network, to provide funds, donate food, and volunteer the company’s storage resources and distribution expertise on a global scale.

The company said it will donate up to $500,000 to match contributions to the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation’s fundraiser, which is directing all funds to Feeding America.

“We’re working in a myriad of ways to ensure that every person in need, particularly the residents of Oakland, California, has access to the food they need during this COVID-19 crisis,” said Chris Helfrich, CEO of Eat. Learn. Play. “We’re proud to be doing this work alongside Lineage Logistics. They’ve quickly established themselves as an invaluable partner in these critical times.”

In addition to these initial commitments, Lineage said it is looking to work closely with a number of other strategic partners to make financial and logistical contributions in communities worldwide and reach Share A Meal’s ambitious goal.

Lineage will engage its expansive network of customers, which includes some of the world’s largest food producers and manufacturers, to join in its commitment, and the company will challenge its investors, vendors and other likeminded leaders and businesses to donate.

“We have the opportunity to rise to the occasion in a critical time of need and actively live out Lineage’s purpose statement of helping to feed the world,” Lehmkuhl said. “It’s a time to ask ourselves what we stand for, and how far we are willing to go in service of others. We are 14,000 strong in communities near and far.

“As citizens of the world, we are in this together, and we know Lineage can—and must—do more.”

To support the efforts of Lineage and Irving to support Feeding America’s COVID-19 response efforts, visit feedingamerica.org/lineage-covid or feedingamerica.org/kyrie-covid.

*100 million meal equivalent will include financial and in-kind donations facilitated by Lineage and its partners to Feeding America and other hunger-relief organizations.

**The 250,000 meal donation is equivalent to 25,000 pounds of food being donated to City Harvest as well as a $25,000 monetary donation, according to the following calculation: $1 = 10 meals.

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Commercial Vehicle Staff

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