Sochi-bound yogurt blocked by Russians goes to stateside food banks

A shipment of Sochi-bound yogurt intended for American athletes competing in the Olympic Games won't be making it to Russia after all. 

Chobani Inc. of New York said Thursday it was donating more than 5,000 individual cups of its Greek yogurt to food banks 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," said Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani's chief executive. 

"[W]e'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," Ulukaya added.

The protein-packed snacks had been stuck at a New Jersey airport while Russian and U.S. officials were locked in a trade dispute. 

Russian customs officials said the shipment didn't contain the necessary paperwork to allow them to accept the yogurt.

The so-called yogurt blockade attracted national media attention when Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on Russian authorities to free the "yogurt trapped in a holding pattern at Newark Airport" in New Jersey.

Schumer said last week that that the customs certificate required was "unreasonable," especially since the product was intended to be consumed only by U.S. citizens. 


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