Eastman Foundation commits $1 million toward global response to COVID-19 pandemic

Eastman Foundation commits $1 million toward global response to COVID-19 pandemic
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Date: 21 May 2020

Recognizing the needs of the people and the communities where we operate, Eastman Foundation has committed $1 million toward supporting global response organizations in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

"Given the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on all of us, it is important that we provide support in the communities where our employees live and work," said Willie McLain, president of Eastman Foundation. "Every region has critical needs at this time. We want to be able to support efforts to meet those needs as best we can."

Eastman Foundation will provide funding to organizations for food, shelter, medical personal protective equipment for frontline workers and community support. Eastman operates sites in more than 50 communities around the world.

In Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, Eastman Foundation has donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and the United Way of Greater Kingsport to support those organizations' response efforts for vulnerable populations including children and families.

"We're seeing families who never thought they would ever need to ask for food. Based on the trends, we could see that demand increase 30 percent over the summer," said Rhonda Chafin, executive director for Second Harvest. "With the help of community partners like the Eastman Foundation, we can continue to keep up with that demand to provide food to our most vulnerable neighbors."

The United Way of Greater Kingsport is teaming with six other United Ways in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia to provide a collective response to the pandemic. The United Ways recently announced they will allocate a portion of their COVID-19 Relief Fund to the Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency's (UETHDA) Community Services program that helps households offset housing, rental, utility payments, and other basic needs during challenging times. "The impact of COVID-19 is pervasive in our communities," said Danelle Glasscock, executive director at the United Way of Greater Kingsport. "By teaming together and with the support of organizations like the Eastman Foundation, we can focus our response on the most critical needs of our citizens."

"The work of these partners is especially critical right now. We are very proud to contribute to these efforts," McLain said.

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