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AmeriCares and Nestlé Waters North America Create One Million Water Bottle Reserve To Aid Gulf Coast Communities

  • August 28, 2006

Stamford, CT, August 28, 2006 – AmeriCares has teamed up with Nestlé Waters North America to help Gulf Coast communities respond more rapidly to hurricanes and other natural disasters in 2006-2007. 

Nearly one year after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast region, and at the onset of the busiest part of the 2006-2007 hurricane season, AmeriCares and Nestlé Waters have created a one million water bottle reserve for rapid distribution after a natural disaster.  Deliveries began arriving last Thursday and will continue throughout the next two weeks, including in Florida, where Hurricane Ernesto is expected to make landfall.  A portion of the water reserve will also be used to support ongoing recovery in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities.

“Although we can’t prevent natural disasters, we can do our best to be prepared for them and to assist those who suffer after the fact,” says AmeriCares President & CEO Curt Welling. “By collaborating with our partners on this new initiative, we will be better able to reach those in need quickly and efficiently.”

The bottled water reserve, stocked with the popular Nestlé Pure Life brand, will be stored in a series of food banks run by AmeriCares partner, America’s Second Harvest, in regions vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding:  Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  AmeriCares U.S. headquarters in Stamford, Conn. will also maintain a storehouse of Nestle bottled water for disaster relief.

“One of the great lessons of Hurricane Katrina is that preparation matters,” says Kim Jeffrey, president & chief executive officer, Nestlé Waters North America.  “That is why we are donating our time, labor, and our bottled water to such a forward-thinking project.  If disaster strikes, clean drinking water will be more readily available to those in need.”

 AmeriCares and Nestlé Waters North America share a long history of partnership dating back to 1989.  When the devastating hurricanes hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in August and September 2005, Nestle Waters donated 10 truckloads of water-as part of a larger 1.5 million bottle donation-to help AmeriCares bring vital relief to survivors in those areas.  Nestlé Waters also donated three truckloads of water in response to the 2005 California wildfires.  More recently, this summer Nestlé Waters provided two truckloads of bottled water to AmeriCares for distribution in Columbia County, Pennsylvania, when raging floodwaters contaminated the local drinking water.

AmeriCares has 24 years of experience providing emergency medical relief to people affected by natural disasters.  In the immediate days and weeks after Hurricane Katrina, AmeriCares delivered in-kind aid valued at more than $10 million to Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama.  AmeriCares also mobilized massive quantities of aid valued at more than $1 million to help those affected by the deadly 2004 hurricane season.