PROVIDENCE, RI – United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) has enacted several new protocols for its associates during the global health crisis caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) to ensure the safety of employees and the continuity of supplying customers with food products. 

Full-time and part-time direct labor associates and drivers will receive a temporary emergency bonus of $2 per hour on top of their regular pay and overtime hours worked through March 31 at the earliest. 

To ensure the quality and safety of UNFI’s food supply, attendance policies have enhanced flexibility and exceptions, and employees will have 14 additional days of paid sick leave if they are diagnosed with COVID-19. 

In the case the work facility is closed, associates will also have up to 14 days of paid leave. UNFI Assist, the company’s social responsibility program has also allocated funds to support grants to employees impacted by COVID-19. 

"As Americans continue to look to us to help keep stores across the country well-stocked during this national emergency, we are fully committed to supporting our valued associates and working to meet their needs," said Steven L. Spinner, chairman and chief executive officer of UNFI.  

"Our 21,000 associates are at the very heart of the food distribution sector's around-the-clock effort to keep America fed and prepared amidst the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. We hope our new protocols will provide an important degree of assurance and comfort to our world-class workforce, especially as cases inevitably increase in the weeks ahead and deliveries become more difficult amidst widespread business closures." 

Jill Sutton, UNFI’s chief legal officer also said the company has robust planning and continuity programs in place to ensure the safety of associates and community members, and allow the company to carry out its essential mission of providing high-quality food products to customers during this critical time.