The Hispanic food company Goya has been in the spotlight in recent days after its president Bob Unanue praised President Donald Trump while at the White House for the launch of the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative, but critics of his remarks have been overshadowed by those who have supported the company, including a “buycott” movement that has seen products flying off grocery shelves.
On Thursday the company announced its latest effort to use it products to fight hunger in the United States and abroad with a donation of 220,000 pounds of food to Venezuela to aid the country in its battle against the coronavirus.
Unanue said in an announcement of the donation:
Our #GoyaGivesGlobal campaign extends our hand to our neighboring countries who are in desperate need of nourishing food and demonstrates Goya’s history of giving critical assistance to people who need it the most, not just here in the United States, but around the globe. Venezuela has long suffered from shortages of food and we will do whatever we can to help.
In times of desperate need, Goya has always been at the forefront of disaster and humanitarian relief efforts, providing millions of pounds of food worldwide. In September of 2019, in response to the outcries of starving children and families in Venezuela, Goya committed to a donation of 400,000 pounds of which only 180,000 pounds safely reached the people with the help of non-profits, churches, and charitable organizations located in Venezuela.
Carlos Vecchio, Chargé d’Affaires of the Government of Venezuela to the United States, said about the donation:
We thank Goya Foods, and its President Bob Unanue for this important humanitarian donation of food to the Venezuelan people. We thank them for their donation last year, we thank them for their donation this year and we look forward to their donation next year.
“It is a profoundly humane and social demonstration of how the international private sector can actively help to alleviate the pain and suffering of the people of Venezuela,” Vecchio said, adding:
This humanitarian support will be transparently channeled through the protocols that the Interim Government of President Juan Guaidó has coordinated with national and international agencies to address the emergency that affects millions of Venezuelan families.
Unanue’s announcement said:
Since the start of the pandemic, the company has donated a total of 2.5 million pounds of food and 20,000 protective masks. During Hurricane Maria Goya donated over 1 million pounds of food to the people of Puerto Rico, in addition to the starving people of Venezuela during governmental unrest, to the people of Haiti during the earthquake, and at home during Superstorm Sandy, and Hurricanes Isaac, Harvey, and Irene.
“We’re all truly blessed … to have leader like President Trump because he’s a builder,” Unanue said at the White House, adding that his grandfather’s food business was founded with the same goals — “to build, to grow, to prosper.”
Unanue has not apologized for his remarks and said on Fox and Friends he backs Trump’s efforts to help the Hispanic community.
“We were part of a commission called the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative and they called on us to be there to see how we could help opportunities within the economic and educational realm for prosperity among Hispanics and among the United States,” Unanue said.
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