Coronavirus: Church is helping Iran, Italy, China and 13 other countries with medical supplies, ramps up food production

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Coronavirus: Church is helping Iran, Italy, China and 13 other countries with medical supplies, ramps up food production

Deseret News – By Tad Walch and Trent Toone
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“Due to its global reach and long trajectory, this emergency situation is like no other. … We believe that there is hope and that the best way to cope with emergency situations is to help each other,” according to Latter-day Saint Charities.

SALT LAKE CITY — Latter-day Saint Charities is ramping up production at its canneries and food processing plants during the COVID-19 crisis, while at the same time donating medical and emergency supplies to 16 countries.

The additional food will help people in need amid reports that jobless claims in the United States rose 33% last week and are accelerating even faster this week as businesses react to the pandemic.

Latter-day Saint Charities will make the food available to church leaders supporting their congregations as well as to food banks, community agencies and school food programs, said the organization’s president, Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency.

Iran, Italy and China are among the nations receiving medical and emergency supplies, support and funding from the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she said in a phone interview.

Some of that aid directly helps with the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. For example, the church is helping to provide N95 masks, gloves and hand sanitizer in Iran, where 50 new infections and one new death are happening every 10 minutes, Sister Eubank said.

The aid to Iran is happening through a partnership with Moms Against Poverty, which is licensed by the U.S. government to provide humanitarian aid to that country while it is under U.S. sanctions.

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