The Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC) has started distributing food items to thousands of vulnerable Nigerians across the country to further support the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
NBC, the maker of Coca-Cola brands of carbonated drinks, said in a statement on Sunday in Lagos, that the gesture would help to mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, on the beneficiaries.
It said the first phase of the food intervention had reached over 2,000 households in 14 locations across the country.
The package includes rice, noodles and cooking oil among others.
NBC said 300 households in Ota and Asejire, in the western part of the country, have benefited from the intervention, which began on April 30.
According to the statement, an additional 150 households each will benefit in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri, Makurdi, Warri, Enugu and Minna.
It added that 200 households each will also get the packages in Benin City, Owerri, Challawa and Ikeja as the company continues to reach out to Nigerian families.
Receiving some of the household supplies on behalf of 150 families in Ota, Ogun State, Chairman of Nice Estate Community Development Association, Mr Eric Gbibgi-Jackson, commended NBC for the gesture.
“We thank the Nigerian Bottling Company Limited for these food items.
“We remain deeply grateful and pray that your company will continue to grow from strength to strength, the statement quoted Gbibgi-Jackson as saying.
Also, Mr Ekuma Eze, Director, Public Affairs and Communications of NBC said the exercise was part of the company commitment to support its host communities across the country.
“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been quite unbearable for many families.
“As a socially responsible organisation, we believe there is no better time to identify with these people across our communities than now,’’ Eze was quoted as saying in the statement.
He commended NBC staff, who volunteered to drive the campaign, adding that more interventions “are underway’’
Eze reiterated NBC’s commitment to the welfare of Nigerians.
It said the food relief intervention is the latest COVID-19 response from NBC.
Eze said that NBC also recently donated 13 million centilitres of its beverages to provide hydration and nourishment for patients and healthcare workers at isolation centres across the country.
It had also supported the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to develop risk communication materials to support the government’s public education and mobilisation initiatives against COVID-19.