News continues to circulate about companies and individuals stepping up to help others amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Many leading this charge are MSU alumni who are acting in the “Spartans Will” spirit by standing together and being resourceful to overcome this challenge.
Greg Longstreet (B.A. General Business ’92), CEO of Del Monte Foods, has remained committed to helping people meet a critical need amid the crisis: access to nutritious food. Longstreet has led the company to make a significant donation of $2 million in food products to Feeding America.
“As Growers of Good, we have a long and proud history of donating food to support local food banks and nonprofit programs — especially in times of crisis,” Longstreet said. “With school and business closures and unemployment approaching record levels, many more Americans are struggling with basic food requirements. Food donations help fill a critical gap and provide immediate relief to families in need. This is why we are giving back, putting people first and doing good at a time when it is needed most.”
Longstreet explained that Del Monte Foods has seen a surge in demand for its products since February, when the outbreak was just beginning to unfold in the United States. “I am fortunate to be leading a business that is performing well in this COVID environment,” he said. “Consumers are seeking healthy packaged food items and brands they trust for themselves and their families.”
The increased demand has posed a challenge for Del Monte Foods’ supply chain team members, who are working diligently around the clock to source and deliver quality food products.
“Employee safety is always our top priority, and we have taken many steps and industry-leading actions to help ensure safety in the workplace,” Longstreet said. “As we continue to make the necessary adjustments to manage through this crisis, I am confident that Del Monte Foods will be stronger because of it.
“I have been mindful to remain flexible and adaptive to help our company accomplish our goals,” he continued. “We have leveraged technology to help our national and global teams communicate and run our company from a shelter-in-place, work-from-home environment. I have also empowered my leadership team to act quickly and make decisions as we respond to this ever-changing situation.”
As we all work through new challenges during this uncertain time, Longstreet said, “Our country and our economy will recover, and Broad Spartans will be strengthened by what we’re facing today. Opportunities will result from the lessons we are learning, and the new post-COVID world does offer promise for a better tomorrow.”
He offered five helpful tips for people to practice and remember as we work together through this crisis together:
- Work hard and stay busy.
- Stay flexible but focused.
- Take advantage of opportunities.
- Learn through the struggle.
- Remain positive.
Longstreet is just one example of the many Broad Spartan alumni who are standing together to make a difference in this critical time, serving as an inspiration for all Spartans to reach higher and persevere together.