HANNIBAL | General Mills presented a $35,000 check to The United Way of the Mark Twain Area for the COVID-19 response fund on Thursday at its plant in Hannibal.
The General Mills Foundation has committed $1 million to aid communities most impacted by the novel coronavirus through a gift to United Way agencies across the country. Funding will provide emergency assistance to people experiencing poverty with resources for food, shelter, childcare and other support.
General Mills plant manager John Komor said the company is happy to donate $35,000 to The United Way of the Mark Twain Area's COVID-19 response fund.
“I'm just proud on behalf of all the employees here in the company to be able to help at a time when the need is so great,” Komor said. “In addition to the $35,000 (donation), the company has just done a tremendous amount around the globe. We've given $20 million in cash and another $40 million in food to help with food security around the globe during the pandemic.”
The United Way of the Mark Twain Area will use the $35,000 to help those who are unemployed due to COVID-19 to help assist with food, shelter and other needs.
In total, The United Way of the Mark Twain Area has received over $182,000 in donations to the COVID-19 response fund. The funding has been used to assist with special projects and has been distributed to 30 area non-profit organizations that have seen a decrease in funding and increase in demand.
United Way of the Mark Twain Area executive director Denise Damron said General Mills has been a longtime supporter of The United Way.
“Their partnership has been vital to ensure success of the organization locally,” Damron said. “We are humbled to be receiving this funding to assist with our COVID-19 response efforts.”
Earlier in the year, General Mills employees helped raise $7,000 as part of its community action council, which helped start The United Way of the Mark Twain Area's COVID-19 response fund.
General Mills plant technical manager Rich Tumbleson is part of the community action council, which formulates plans for employees to help support the local community. Employee donations and payroll deductions helped raise the previous $7,000 donation to the local United Way.
“I've been really impressed with (The United Way of the Mark Twain Area's) COVID-19 response fund that they started,” Tumbleson said. “It's grown so much with multiple donations and they have been able to do so much with it with the pork (distribution to area food banks).”
Tumbleson said General Mills has helped out the community when it faced other challenging situations.
“When we had flooding, we sent buckets and supplies to help clean up from the floods,” Tumbleson said. “So we just look for ways to enable our employees to help make the biggest impact they can in the community.”
Komor said General Mills has historically been one of the largest contributors to The United Way.
“Obviously it's the organization and the community that know those in need better than us, so we like to partner with them because we want this to be a great place to work and live,” Komor said. “We think The United Way is a great partner in making this a better community to work in.”