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Turning Lemons into Lemonade


Disney always finds a magical and amazing way of turning a bad situation into good. And during this weird time we are living in, Disney has shown us once again that no matter what the situation, compassion, empathy and generosity always win.

When a corporation such as The Walt Disney Company decides to temporarily close its theme parks doors due to a pandemic virus, what does it do with all of the leftover food and drinks that would have been purchased and consumed by Guests? Disneyland and Walt Disney World were faced with this exact question last week when the difficult but critical decision was made to close, like so many others have, in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

With its ongoing commitment to community outreach, and reducing food waste, Disneyland and Walt Disney World donated excess food to Second Harvest Food Bank in Orange County and Central Florida, respectively.

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Thanks to dedicated Cast Members teaming up with the Distribution Services team that oversees collection and delivery of donations, fresh vegetables, meats, dairy, fruit and packaged goods were distributed to the local food banks to help those in need.

“These donations would not be possible without the dedication of cast members behind the scenes who collect, sort and distribute every item to ensure it’s delivered with the highest level of freshness, keeping food safety top of mind,” said Tajiana Ancora-Brown, director, External Affairs at Walt Disney World Resort. “We feel an immense sense of pride and excitement every time we see the Disney Harvest truck making deliveries in the community, and we’re so grateful for the team that makes these donations happen.”

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There are so many right now who are struggling, who are already feeling the effects stemming from this pandemic. Business are closed, paychecks have stopped, but spirits are high. And food banks like Second Harvest are coming to the rescue to help, thanks in partnership with Disney, who has an abundance of food waiting to be served.

“We are deeply grateful to Disneyland Resort for their generous donation of food,” said Harald Herrmann, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. “Donations of food, especially shelf-stable food, will be critical in the days and weeks ahead to serve those in our community impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.”

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This isn’t new for Disney. Each year, the resorts donate over 1.2M meals to their local Second Harvest Food Bank as part of the ongoing food donation programs. That’s a staggering number!

I could not be prouder of the Walt Disney Company for always looking out and never skipping a beat. I know sometimes decisions made are not always favorable, but in these times, the really hard times, Disney comes through.

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