The General Mills Covington Community Action Council awarded more than $190,000 in grant money Friday to community organizations from Newton, Walton and Rockdale counties.
Fourteen organizations from Covington received grants including the Newton County Board of Education and Sheriff's Office and three of the county's schools. Six of the organizations are based or operate out of Rockdale County and five are from Social Circle.
"Today's event exemplifies General Mills living our mission of nourishing lives," Covington plant manager Mark Bible said. "We fulfill that mission through the health, richness, quality, and convenience of our products. We also fulfill that mission through our involvement and support of our local communities."
More than 25 organizations applied for grants totaling more than $500,000. To qualify, organizations must have a current 501(c)(3) Public Charity status from the Internal Revenue Service and be a school or a unit of government. Organizations must serve populations within 50 miles of a General Mills facility. The organization, its program or project must support a broad and diverse audience and organizations.
"Each year members of Team Covington contribute hundreds of hours of volunteer service across our area," Bible said. "Each year at this time we further strengthen our community support through grants from our foundation to well deserving non-profit organizations making a positive difference in our area."
Those receiving grants from Covington were:
Ficquett Theme School: The grant will be used to support the school's "Dancing and Climbing Toward Fitness" program which encourages students to exercise 60 minutes each day.
Arts Association in Newton County: Awarded grant will be used for supporting the organization's outreach program which provides opportunities for students in the arts and teaches cultural diversity.
Covington YMCA: Grant will go toward funding the Partner with Youth Financial Assistance Program which allows economically disadvantaged children and their families to participate in YMCA programs.
Family Promise of NewRock: Grant funds will support the organization's offered family services. Services include training and counseling, providing insurance, food, supplies for social services and utilities to guests within the organization's network.
Washington Street Community Center: Grant will go toward funding the center's Operational Support and Nutrition Wellness program which serves at-risk and disadvantage youth the means to improve physical fitness and health and wellness.
Newton County Sheriff's Office: The NCSO plans to use its grant funds to support its C.H.A.M.P.S. Explorer and Lifesaver programs. The C.H.A.M.P.S. program is designed to be tailored to specific youth's needs in Newton County.
Georgia Elks Aidmore Center: The Elks plan to expand family support services with programs that focus on health and wellness and personal development.
Project ReNeWal: Grant will be used to support the Healthy Eating Program. The organization plans to buy fresh fruit, vegetables and healthy food items for its shelter residents.
Middle Ridge Elementary: Grant will go toward financing Middle Ridge's physical fitness programs.
Prevent Child Abuse: Grant will go toward the organization's New Vision Catchers Clubhouse program which educates individuals on the risks of tobacco, alcohol and drugs.
Liberty Middle School: The school plans to use the funds to financially support the growth of it's arts and cultural diversity curriculum.
Rainbow Community Center: Funds will go toward operational expenses for providing food and shelter and other emergency services.
Newton County Senior Center: Grant funds will enhance quality programs in the fields of nutrition, education and health and wellness.
Newton County READS: Funds will go toward purchasing materials such as calculators, timers and other pre-GED materials.
Newton County Board of Education: The NCSS plans to use the funds to research its physical education curriculum and standards for schools in Newton County.
Newton County Community Partnership: Funding will provide operational support for the organization's We Can program. We Can aims to help youth make healthy decisions.
Rockdale County organizations J.H. House Elementary, Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts, Rockdale Coalition for Children and Families and Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale each received grants at the ceremony as well as American Red Cross East Georgia, Walton County Senior Citizens Council, Social Circle Public Schools, Boys and Girls Clubs of North Central Georgia and Faith and Serving Humanity in Social Circle. Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge received a grant as well.
General Mills donates millions of dollars each year. In 2011, the General Mills Foundation distributed more than $24 million in grants and matching contributions. The donations go toward arts and culture, education, hunger and nutrition wellness and family service among other areas.
"It is an honor and a blessing to be supporting and recognizing such well deserving organizations again today," Bible said.