MCLEAN, VA - The International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA) sent a letter to President Trump this week asking the president to work with Congress to develop policy to relieve capital crisis for all businesses impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19). 

With the closure of many restaurants, schools and other non-essential businesses the distributors who supply them have taken a financial hit. 

"COVID-19’s economic impact on the foodservice distribution industry is dire and requires immediate attention from the Trump Administration,” said Mark Allen, IDFA president and chief executive officer. “Distributors deliver to professional kitchens across America by supplying food and related products to restaurants, colleges and universities, hospitals and care facilities, hotels and resorts, and other foodservice operations. With many institutions closed and restaurant sales limited to carry-out and drive throughs, distributor sales have declined rapidly and substantially.  

“Yet distributors and their restaurant customers still incur significant day to day expenses such as rent payments and they must continue to make payments on any loans they may have incurred. The $280 billion foodservice distribution industry and the 350,000 Americans it employs desperately needs to be included in President Trump’s economic stimulus package. These are the people who under normal conditions keep the supply chain flowing, they help feed America—and now we are asking that the federal government help them feed their families.” 

Allen highlighted that while many distributor customers such as hospitals and other care facilities are still open, most are still functioning at reduced business, and distributors are being slammed with impact of decreased sales from all angles.  

For both distributors and restaurant customers, Allen pointed out that ensuring sufficient liquidity to continue operations is vital to the industry.