Widespread stay-at-home orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic have led to record rates of unemployment and increased pressure on food banks. In support of its local communities during this challenging time, Lesaffre Corp. and Red Star are making charitable food donations worth $100,000 to food banks, starting with the cities where the company operates: Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Dothan, Ala.; and Milwaukee.

Each week during the month of May, Lesaffre and Red Star will donate $2,000 worth of bread or other needs to each local food bank including, Linn Community Food Bank, Wiregrass Area Food Bank, and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. As a partner to the baking industry, Lesaffre and Red Star are also supporting bakers who are struggling due to the pandemic through this effort. The bread being donated to the food pantries is being purchased from local bakers facing decreased sales.

“When we heard that bread was in need, our teams came up with the idea of purchasing bread from local retail bakers who are suffering as restaurants and small shops are closed in response to COVID-19,” said Tom Benner, president and CEO of Red Star. “With this program, our teams are proud to be helping people in need and businesses in our hometowns.”