U.S. food companies, including major meat processors and hunger-relief groups, are mobilizing to provide emergency aid to Haiti in the wake of this week's devastating earthquake in the country's capital of Port-au-Prince.

The American Red Cross estimates 50,000 people have died and 3 million are injured or homeless. The death toll could easily rise in the days and weeks ahead as infections and disease could spread due to the lack of basic life necessities.

Among the companies pledging help:

  • Hormel Foods is matching employee donations up to $25,000 for relief efforts, with all contributions going to the American Red Cross.
  • ConAgra Foods Foundation, a long-time Red Cross supporter, has pledged an additional $100,000 to the International Red Cross Relief Fund for aid to Haiti.
  • Cargill is making an initial corporate donation of $50,000 to long-time Cargill partners CARE and the World Food Programme. In Minneapolis, Cargill volunteers at the company's headquarters will be packing 20,000 meals on Jan. 18, for the nonprofit Kids Against Hunger. Those meals will be sent directly to people in Haiti; another 30,000 meals will be sent over the next month.
  • McDonald's Corp. and its franchisee Arcos Dorados will each contribute $500,000 to the International Federation of the Red Cross to be used for its disaster relief efforts. Arcos Dorados officials, which operate nearly 1,700 McDonald's restaurants in Latin America, said the company expects to generate an additional $500,000 in funds by donating 50 cents for each Big Mac sandwich sold from Jan. 16-22.
  • Yum Brands, owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, report the company is directing $500,000 to Haiti from its World Hunger Relief program launched in 2007. Yum Brands Foundation also will match Yum employee donations up to $500,000. Funds raised will go to the United Nations World Food Programme and other relief programs.
  • The Walmart Foundation pledged $500,000 to Red Cross emergency relief efforts in Haiti and is sending pre-packaged food kits worth $100,000 to Haiti at the request of the Red Cross.
  • Publix Super Markets Charities is donating $100,000 to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Haiti.

Relief organizations set up to accept online donations for emergency aid to Haiti include:

While donations have been pouring in, much more will be needed over the long term as recovery will be intensive and slow in what is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Source: Meatingplace.com