A partnership for health: In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, two Florida companies joined forces and used sugar cane to produce and distribute a hot commodity—hand sanitizer—to community members most at risk. The partners are Sugar Sand Distillery of Lake Placid and U.S. Sugar of Clewiston.

A community spirit: Most days, the farm-to-bottle distillery uses sugar cane molasses to produce small-batch rum, whiskey, vodka, limoncello and moonshine.

“Sugar Sand Distillery has shifted its focus away from making spirits to helping fulfill a vital need in our region,” says distillery founder Don Davies. “The partnership between U.S. Sugar and our distillery promotes healthy habits that can help save lives.”

Bottling protection: U.S. Sugar—which supplements the distillery’s homegrown fermented liquid sugar supply—bought 1,200 units of hand sanitizer and delivered it to senior centers, nursing homes and assisted living centers in LaBelle, Clewiston, Belle Glade and Pahokee. First responders also may get bottles.

The distillery’s hand sanitizer consists of up to 70% alcohol—the equivalent of 140 proof. Centers for Disease Control guidelines recommend using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

A caring nature: “In times of crisis, you can always count on the resourcefulness of farmers to help solve problems as they arise,” says U.S. Sugar’s Judy Sanchez, senior director for corporate communications and public affairs. “Whether its hurricanes, economic downturns or even global pandemics, we are all in this together, and are proud to serve our local communities during their time of need. We are taking care of our families because, after all, we live here too.”