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DAYVILLE, Conn. -- United Natural Foods, Inc. here has embarked on a joint venture with nonprofit, nonsectarian organization Vitamin Angels get chewable multivitamins and antiparasitic medicines to 55,000 children in the Dominican Republic between the ages of 2 and 10 years old. The Batey Relief Alliance, through its regional branch, BRA Dominica, will monitor distribution to the children.
UNFI c.o.o. and e.v.p. Rick Antonelli and v.p. of special projects Margaret Loew recently traveled with Vitamin Angels founder and c.e.o. Howard Schiffer into the bateyes of the Dominican Republic to assist with the initial distribution. A "batey" is a community of former sugar cane workers displaced when the industry was privatized, characterized by substandard living conditions. In each batey, a volunteer health promoter assists in the distribution and monitoring of the program, which will be ongoing with the help of the BRA.
UNFI carries and distributes over 40,000 products to more than 18,000 customers nationwide. The company serves a wide variety of retail formats, among them conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators, and the foodservice channel.
Created in 1994, Vitamin Angels fights malnutrition and childhood blindness around the world. Last year the organization donated over 100 million supplements to needy people in 42 countries.