Altria commits $1M to coronavirus relief efforts
Philip Morris USA parent company will donate to efforts in Richmond and in other areas where it has operations.
Henrico County-based Altria Group Inc. is committing $1 million to coronavirus relief efforts in the Richmond area and in other communities where it has manufacturing and agricultural assets.
“This is an unprecedented time, and it’s critical that businesses step up to meet the challenges in the communities where we live and work,” said Billy Gifford, Altria’s acting CEO, vice chairman and chief financial officer, in a statement released Wednesday.
Altria has donated $500,000 to the Community Foundation of Greater Richmond’s COVID-19 Response Fund, which is being run by the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia and PlanRVA. The response fund was seeded with $500,000 from the Community Foundation and has grown to nearly $3 million in funding.
The company will work with leaders in areas where it has manufacturing operations, including Nashville, Tennessee, to identify where to invest the rest of its allocated funding. Altria will also donate to the American Red Cross.
Last week, Altria announced that its CEO, Howard Willard, was taking a temporary medical leave of absence after testing positive for COVID-19. Altria also temporarily suspended operations at its Philip Morris USA cigarette manufacturing plant in South Richmond after a second Philip Morris employee tested positive for COVID-19. Altria expects the manufacturing center to suspend its operations for two weeks.
Altria employs approximately 3,000 people in the Richmond region between its corporate headquarters in Henrico and Philip Morris USA’s manufacturing facility and research center in Richmond.