Coronavirus: beauty giant Unilever unveils huge ‘United for America' initiative

Beauty brands have been introducing measures over the last few weeks to help tackle the global COVID-19 pandemic, and now Unilever United States is stepping up to the plate.

The personal care and household goods conglomerate -- whose beauty brands include Dove, Tresemme and Toni & Guy -- has unveiled a new initiative, ‘United for America,' aimed at helping people in the US weather the crisis.

As part of a wider global effort by the company, United for America will see Unilever United States partner with the non-profit organization Feeding America to donate food, soap, personal hygiene and home cleaning products worth more than $8 million to help those impacted by the pandemic. The products, which will be distributed via a national network of foodbanks, include items from the personal hygiene brands Dove, Suave, Degree, TRESemmé, Shea Moisture and Axe. The initiative will also include home cleaning and sanitization products from the brand Seventh Generation and food products from Knorr, Hellmann's/Best Foods and Lipton.

"Unilever is ‘United for America' because we are all in this together and only together will we defeat this virus," said Fabian Garcia, president of Unilever North America, via a statement. "Our people are committed to supporting all Americans -- especially those most in need -- with the resources to act to protect the wellbeing of their families and their communities. We will do this by ensuring access to hygiene, nutrition and sanitation products, and by working through our brands to inform and educate people to help them in this difficult time."

The conglomerate is also donating more than 200,000 masks for healthcare workers in local hospitals in New Jersey, as well as working towards a national ‘Day of Service.' Scheduled for May 21, the event will see Unilever United States donate every single essential item produced at its 14 US factories that day (or products of equal value) to community partners serving people in need. The company will also redirect its entire marketing and advertising spend for that day to promote non-profit partners, relief organizations and other community groups.

United for America follows the news, announced earlier this week, that Unilever was implementing wide-ranging measures to help people all around the world suffering from the crisis. These include donating soaps and sanitizer worth at least €50 million to the COVID Action Platform of the World Economic Forum, and offering €500 million of cash flow relief to support livelihoods across its extended value chain.