Schumer Praises Chobani for Donating Olympic Yogurt to Charity

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted February 13, 2014 at 10:23am

The Chobani yogurt caught in a customs snarl won’t be making it to Russia for the Olympics.  

The upstate New York-based company announced Thursday morning that the yogurt would be donated to food banks and other charities after being stuck in refrigeration near Newark Liberty International Airport, unable to get appropriate permission from the Russian government to enter the country.  

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, who pushed the Russian government to allow the yogurt through for consumption by U.S. Olympians, praised the company’s decision.  

“Chobani and I fought hard to deliver their yogurt to our Olympic athletes in Sochi. While we did not prevail, there is a silver — or gold — lining in the news that the yogurt will be donated to hungry men, women and children in New York and New Jersey,” the New York Democrat said in a statement.  

Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya announced the decision to donate some 5,000 single-serve Greek yogurt cups and other bulk yogurt to charities in New York and New Jersey.  

“As a proud supporter of the Olympics and Team USA over the past four years, we’re disappointed our athletes won’t be able to enjoy Chobani while they compete in the games as we all hoped, and are deeply appreciative to everyone who tried to help get it there, especially Sens. Schumer and [Kirsten] Gillibrand and various officials here at home,” Ulukaya said in a statement. “It’s been a long, cold winter and we’re happy incredible organizations in New York and New Jersey, who share our vision to provide nutritious foods, will be able to serve fresh cups of Chobani to those in need. We’ll be waiting for our athletes when they come home while cheering them on every step of the way,”