In support of efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus, Disney has decided to close its parks in California, Florida, and Paris as well as its cruise operations.
The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA announced on the Disney Parks Blog Friday that it will donate excess banquet meals, packaged goods, fruit, vegetables, and dairy to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County.
Since 2014, Disneyland has donated prepared, unserved food to help food-insecure individuals in the local community. According to the Disney Parks Blog, the donations are part of an initiative to reduce food waste. The blog post states that the theme park provided over 20,000 meals to Second Harvest Charity in 2019. Disney employees regularly volunteer at the nonprofit hunger-relief organization through the Disney VoluntEARS program.
Second Harvest Food Bank thanked the theme park for its donation on Twitter.
“Thank you to the team at @DisneyParks for helping us #FeedOC during the parks temporary closure due to #coronavirus,” the tweet reads.
In an interview with TODAY, Harald Hermann, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank Orange County, said that his organization is “deeply appreciative” of the donation. Hermann said the items will help feed 290,000 people in need.
“We are working closely with our partners, including food pantries and distribution sites, to put this food into the hands of those who need it most as quickly as possible,” said Hermann.
“While we do not yet know the amount of food that will be donated, we are working to ensure this vitally important donation will support those most at-risk during this rapidly developing crisis,” he continued. “In the coming days and weeks, donations of shelf-stable foods and funds will be more important than ever to ensure that we are able to address the anticipated need.”
Despite Disney’s statement that there are no known cases of COVID-19 tied to the resort, Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando will remain closed until at least the end of March.