DEHLI, INDIA — Cargill is dispersing millions of dry ration kits featuring pulses, rice and wheat flour to vulnerable families in India, part of the company’s efforts to help address food security, health and safety needs and agriculture and food industry challenges due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

As part of its efforts, Cargill has pledged 16 million meals to feed families through dry ration kits and cooked meals. The relief efforts will affect 150,000 families across 16 cities in India, including Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Pune, Kurkumbh, Kandla, Surat, Bengaluru, Davangere, Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, Bhatinda, Noida, Nagpur, Varanasi and Jaipur.

Cargill is partnering with the Akshaya Patra Foundation, Feeding India and India Food Banking Network.

The dry ration kits include food items like pulses, rice, oil, wheat flour and spices. Additionally, cooked meals are being served daily across India.

In addition to food, Cargill said it has made a monetary contribution to the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM Cares Fund). The company also is leveraging its own distribution network and working with local state authorities to meet hyper-local needs with in-kind donations across the country.

“This global crisis requires a fully concerted approach to be adopted,” said Simon George, president of Cargill India. “Given the critical nature of our business, we are cognizant of our role in the relief and recovery efforts. We are doing everything needed to ensure supply of essential food and feed products continues. On the other hand, we are supporting local authorities and reaching out through NGO partners to provide food items and meals to nourish those impacted. We will continue helping communities during this time of need.”

Cargill began operations in India in 1987. The company’s business includes operations in refined oils, food ingredients, grain and oilseeds, cotton, animal nutrition, bio-industrial and trade structured finance. Cargill markets wheat flour under the Nature Fresh brand name.