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Eastman Foundation giving $1 million in response to COVID-19 pandemic

From staff reports • May 16, 2020 at 1:15 PM

KINGSPORT — Eastman Foundation has committed $1 million toward supporting global response organizations in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“Given the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on all of us, it is important that we provide support in the communities where our employees live and work,” said Willie McLain, president of Eastman Foundation. “Every region has critical needs at this time. We want to be able to support efforts to meet those needs as best we can.”

Eastman Foundation will provide funding to organizations for food, shelter, medical personal protective equipment for frontline workers and community support. Eastman operates sites in more than 50 communities around the world.

In Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, Eastman Foundation has donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and the United Way of Greater Kingsport to support those organizations’ response efforts for vulnerable populations including children and families.

“We’re seeing families who never thought they would ever need to ask for food. Based on the trends, we could see that demand increase 30% over the summer,” said Rhonda Chafin, executive director of Second Harvest. “With the help of community partners like the Eastman Foundation, we can continue to keep up with that demand to provide food to our most vulnerable neighbors.”

The United Way of Greater Kingsport is teaming with six other United Ways in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia to provide a collective response to the pandemic. The United Ways recently announced they will allocate a portion of their COVID-19 Relief Fund to the Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency’s (UETHDA) Community Services program that helps households offset housing, rent, utility payments, and other basic needs during challenging times. “The impact of COVID-19 is pervasive in our communities,” said Danelle Glasscock, executive director at the United Way of Greater Kingsport. “By teaming together and with the support of organizations like the Eastman Foundation, we can focus our response on the most critical needs of our citizens.”

About Eastman Foundation

Eastman Foundation invests in initiatives that serve and strengthen communities around the world and improve the quality of life. The foundation focuses its resources on organizations and projects in the areas of education, environment, empowerment and economic development. Learn more about Eastman Foundation at eastmanfoundation.com and the company’s Corporate Responsibility initiatives at responsibility.eastman.com.

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