To help communities and families affected by the devastating wildfires in California, The Coca‑Cola Foundation has pledged a $500,000 grant to the American Red Cross to assist with relief efforts in Mendocino, Yuba and Napa Counties. The grant will provide disaster relief, including shelter, food and supplies.
The series of wildfires that began on Oct. 8 are among the most destructive in state history, claiming lives and homes and displacing more than 100,000 people. The fires in California’s wine country have been particularly devastating.
“Our hearts go out to the families and communities in California as entire neighborhoods have been devastated by the wildfires and to the teams on the ground fighting the fires,” said Helen Smith Price, president of The Coca‑Cola Foundation. “As community partners, we are fully committed to working with relief organizations to provide shelter, food and other emergency relief during these difficult times.”
The American Red Cross is providing shelter, food and comfort during this time by supporting evacuation centers where people can find safe refuge from the fires, reconnect with loved ones, and obtain information. With the help of community partners, the Red Cross has thus far served more than 38,000 meals and snacks at 59 shelters, and provided more than 3,100 mental health and health services to support and care for those affected.
Since the fires began, the Red Cross, community and government partners have provided nearly 24,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters. More than 400 American Red Cross disaster workers are currently deployed, and additional volunteers and supplies are on their way.
The Coca‑Cola system also has mobilized to provide more than 74,000 bottles of water and other drinks to assist first responders battling the fires as well as for residents displaced from their homes.
“Our team will continue to supply beverages and other necessities to first responders, fire fighters and relief organizations. We know wildfire season isn’t over, so we are monitoring the situation on the ground and stand ready to assist,” said Bill O’Brien, president and general manager of Coca‑Cola Refreshments (CCR)'s West Operating Unit.
Coca‑Cola employees have also come together to provide assistance and support through the Coca‑Cola Employee Disaster Relief Fund to their fellow system co-workers who have been evacuated from their homes and are without basic necessities in affected areas. The Coca‑Cola Company is matching employee contributions up to $100,000.
About The Coca‑Cola Foundation
The Coca‑Cola Foundation is the global philanthropic arm of The Coca‑Cola Company. Since its inception in 1984, the Foundation has awarded more than $900 million in grants to support sustainable community initiatives around the world.