Peru locked down early in response to the COVID pandemic. President Martín Vizcarra declared a national state of emergency on March 15, 2020, earning his government praise for its proactivity. Yet Peru has seen some of the world’s highest per capita infection rates. As of early June, over 195,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported, most in the cities of Lima, Callao, Lambayeque, Piura and Loreto.
According to official government data more than 20% of Peruvians live in poverty. Many have limited access to the social safety net and make their living in Peru’s extensive informal economy. These are the people most affected by the measures taken to stop the spread of infection, since home confinement deprives them of the opportunity to generate income to purchase food. And in a country where less than half of families owns a refrigerator, people need daily access to food markets.
Ajinomoto del Perú made a donation through the public-private partnership “Hombro a Hombro” (Shoulder to Shoulder) program.
Ajinomoto del Perú, part of the nation’s life since its incorporation in 1968, has been taking action. The company recently made a donation, through the public-private partnership “Hombro a Hombro” (Shoulder to Shoulder) program, of some 30 tons of food products worth approximately USD 110,000 to help feed disadvantaged populations. The donation included more than 64,000 packages of instant noodles and 2.5 million packages of seasonings that can be used to prepare soups, stews, rice and salads quickly and easily. The program as a whole channels aid to some 500,000 vulnerable Peruvians.
At the same time, the company’s more than 1,100-strong workforce continues to help protect the nation’s food supply chain. While employees have shifted to working from home wherever viable, many more engaged in production, distribution and retail have remained at their posts. Implementing the strictest possible workplace safety measures, they continue to deliver products to market.
A group of Ajinomoto del Perú’s home-based workers recently produced a video to cheer on their front-line colleagues who are helping feed the people of Peru. They reached out to teams at facilities around the country and asked them to capture short clips expressing their team spirit and determination. Launched with the hashtag #JuntosSiPodemos (Together We Can), the video has been well received on social media, drawing comments like “Congratulations on providing daily foods!” and “Thank you for supporting us!” Callao Plant General Manager Jorge Hanashiro expressed his appreciation of the effort: “This video will help to strengthen the feeling of pride and satisfaction of the staff for the effort that is being made in these difficult times in the community.”
The video, which concludes with the rallying cry “Arriba Peru!” (Go Peru!) has inspired further online togetherness, with Ajinomoto Group affiliates in Ecuador, Chile, and Bolivia quickly joining in to collaborate with their Peruvian colleagues on creating a regional video. Throughout Latin America and around the world, the Ajinomoto Group is working to overcome the distances now separating us and to fulfill its commitment to contribute to feeding communities.