ST. LOUIS, May 10, 2021 – Nestlé Purina PetCare Company’s commitment to supporting individuals, communities and our planet proved more critical than ever in 2020, as many experienced hardships due to the global pandemic and amidst rising racial tensions. Purina provided more than $35 million in financial grants and Purina pet food and litter to nonprofit organizations across the country, reinforcing its mission to bring and keep people and pets together, and providing additional support to those most vulnerable and in need during an especially challenging year.
Standing Tall During a Global Pandemic
Purina supported its essential workforce at the onset of the pandemic, and throughout 2020, by providing additional bonuses, paid time off, and free lunches from local restaurants to Purina factory employees and truck drivers. The company extended that support to first responders in its 21 factory communities by donating more than 6,000 N95 masks and latex gloves, and delivering 400+ meals a day to local police, fire and EMS responders in its headquarters city of St. Louis.
Also in response to the pandemic, Purina increased its support to nonprofit partners in the company’s factory cities by providing over 100 COVID-19 relief grants and pet food donations to aid people and pets in need. Donations focused on organizations that have been providing critical support during the pandemic, including United Way chapters, food banks, educational programs and pet welfare organizations.
Purina also provided help to several national nonprofit organizations during the crisis. The company continued to support its 49 pet shelter and rescue partners across the country through the Purina Shelter Champions network. Donations provided nutritious Purina pet food and litter for shelter animals, and support was passed on to pet owners struggling to make ends meet through local pet food pantries. Purina then made a financial contribution to the Petfinder Foundation’s COVID-19 fund, which helped bridge financial gaps for Petfinder members, enabling shelters and rescues to keep their life-saving operations running through a major slowdown in fundraising.
Additional contributions were made to Purina’s Purple Leash Project partner Red Rover, as part of the company’s ongoing effort to provide pet-friendly domestic violence resources to survivors, as well as to Purina’s disaster relief partner Greater Good Charities, which mobilizes resources with FEMA to make pet care supplies available to shelters and owners in need. Purina also contributed to COVID-19 relief efforts led by Take the Lead, a nonprofit servicing the responsible breeder community and the BISSELL Pet Foundation to further its mission to find a loving home for every pet.
Promoting Racial Equity in Pet Care
The murder of George Floyd, and the activism that followed, led to introspection and bolder action to promote and support racial equity, not only within Purina, but in the communities where Purina operates and across the pet care industry.
Purina partnered with CARE (Companions & Animals for Reform & Equity) to help fund the organization’s research collaboration with Harvard Project Implicit and further its mission to address organizational and personal biases within animal welfare. The research centered around creating a baseline of understanding of existing bias in the industry so future action to combat racism and break down barriers can be measured.
To increase racial diversity in the veterinary field, Purina helped establish a new Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine Scholarship, which will help reduce financial barriers for minority students to attend veterinary school at the historically black college and university. Currently, fewer than two percent of veterinarians in the United States are Black men and women.
Purina has long supported organizations in its headquarters community of St. Louis that focus on addressing systemic barriers to success, including Cultural Leadership, FOCUS St. Louis and LifeWise STL. In 2020, the company established a new partnership with Forward Through Ferguson (FTF), which works to advance racially equitable systems and policies that ensure all people in the St. Louis region can thrive. Purina provided a grant to support FTF’s mission to change the conditions that reinforce systemic racism.
To learn more about causes Purina supports, visit www.purina.com/about-purina/partnerships.
Nestlé Purina PetCare creates richer lives for pets and the people who love them. Founded in 1894, Purina has helped dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by offering scientifically based nutritional innovations. Purina manufactures some of the world's most trusted and popular pet care products, including Purina ONE, Pro Plan, Fancy Feast and Tidy Cats. Our more than 8,700 U.S. associates take pride in our trusted pet food, treat and litter brands that feed 51 million dogs and 65 million cats every year. More than 500 Purina scientists, veterinarians, and pet care experts ensure our commitment to unsurpassed quality and nutrition.
Purina promotes responsible pet care through our scientific research, our products and our support for pet-related organizations. Over the past five years, Purina has contributed more than $150 million towards organizations that bring, and keep, people and pets together, as well as those that help our communities and environment thrive.