How U.S. businesses are assisting earthquake survivors
U.S. companies are moving relief equipment and donating food, money and supplies to assist the people of Türkiye and Syria after the devastating earthquakes in February.
“Our brothers & sisters in [Türkiye] and region desperately need our help,” Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of the Chobani yogurt company, based in Norwich, New York, said in a tweet the day after earthquakes struck.
Ulukaya donated $1 million to the Turkish Philanthropy Funds, which have raised $10.3 million for earthquake relief. Ulukaya also pledged to match up to $1 million in additional donations.
Many U.S. entrepreneurs and businesses have donated to earthquake relief, including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, the owners of space and aviation firm Sierra Nevada Corporation, and Starbucks, each of which has pledged at least $1 million.
Along with support from local communities and U.S. government assistance, the American business community has also stepped up to help victims of the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria: https://t.co/9iG5l4PBmf
— Department of State (@StateDept) February 14, 2023
“These difficult times are what bring people together,” Türkiye’s ambassador to the United States, Murat Mercan, told a February 10 joint meeting of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the U.S.-Türkiye Business Council. “We’ve already received very generous donations from the business community and we ask them to help any way they can.”
As of February 27, U.S. businesses had donated more than $88 million for earthquake relief.
The U.S. government is providing $185 million in humanitarian assistance to the people of Türkiye and Syria and deployed search and rescue teams in the immediate aftermath of the first quake. Every day people across the United States are donating money and supplies.
Here is how several entrepreneurs, businesses and corporate foundations are assisting.
World Central Kitchen
Working with local chefs and volunteers, World Central Kitchen served 1 million meals in 10 days after the earthquake. Founded by chef José Andrés after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, World Central Kitchen has served survivors and first responders in Türkiye and shipped meals across the border to Syria.
In the 10 days since devastating earthquakes hit Türkiye & Syria, WCK teams—alongside incredible local chefs, volunteers & team members—have served more than one million meals to families displaced & emergency crews working around the clock, and we'll continue to expand capacity. pic.twitter.com/pYIC1rXbTg
— World Central Kitchen (@WCKitchen) February 16, 2023
“I’ve seen the power of a plate of food to deliver courage, to provide hope, to bring people closer together,” Andrés said in a video message to the U.S. Department of State’s February 9 relaunch of the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership.
McDonald’s is busing earthquake survivors to its restaurants in Türkiye and has served 100,000 free meals there. The restaurant chain also pledged $1 million to relief groups responding to the disaster, including Save the Children and World Central Kitchen.
McDonald’s also donates $1 million annually to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, whose members are responding in both Türkiye and Syria.
Starbucks and its foundations are providing $1 million to relief groups, including the Red Cross and Red Crescent, World Central Kitchen, the International Rescue Committee and the Planet Water Foundation.
The Seattle-based chain is working with local partners to provide food, hazard pay and shelter for the employees of its more than 600 cafes across Türkiye.
U.S. airplane manufacturer Boeing has pledged $500,000 to the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Türkiye and is matching its employee contributions to earthquake relief.
The shipping company United Parcel Service (UPS) is working in partnership with international relief groups and flying humanitarian aid and emergency supplies to Türkiye.
UPS & The @UPS_Foundation are actively responding to the #earthquake in #Turkey & #Syria. We're offering transport capacity in UPS trucks & matching humanitarian relief w/ all available flight capacity in Turkey while working with @WFP & @ICRC to fly in relief items from Dubai. pic.twitter.com/G4QD0O3n0x
— UPS Public Affairs (@UPSPolicy) February 13, 2023
Pepsi and Coca-Cola
Soft drink manufacturers Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have donated $1 million and $1.2 million respectively to relief groups in Türkiye. Through partners, PepsiCo is providing hot food, shelter, portable chargers, sleeping pads and other necessities.
Coca-Cola and partners, including the Turkish Red Crescent Society, are providing bottled water and restoring schools in hard-hit areas.
Amazon is moving relief supplies and equipment to first responders, ensuring donated heaters, blankets, shelter materials and clothing quickly reach earthquake survivors.
The company also donated $600,000 to search and rescue efforts and organizations responding to the earthquake.
The Michigan-based food distributor SpartanNash is donating bottled water and diapers to survivors through Convoy of Hope, a Springfield, Missouri-based relief organization.
“The destruction in Turkey and Syria is unimaginable, and we feel compelled to leverage supplies we have in stock to provide critical aid as fast as possible,” said SpartanNash CEO Tony Sarsam. “We are grateful for the opportunity to help.”