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Area nonprofits awarded General Mills grants
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The General Mills Community Partnership Council presented more than $190,000 in grants to nonprofit community agencies in Newton, Rockdale and surrounding counties on Friday morning at its annual awards reception ceremony.
A grant reception was held at the Covington plant, located at 15200 Industrial Park Boulevard NE, Covington, where about 24 organizations were awarded with certificates and celebrated for all of their community service efforts put forth in the community.

Denise Greer, human resources manager for the Covington plant and organizer of the event, said each organization was awarded a portion of the $190,000 in funds based on their needs. Greer said General Mills awards grants to organizations because the company feels as though it has a responsibility to help nourish and take care of the community.

“The mission of General Mills is to nourish lives, and we do that through some of the great products that we produce in our facilities and the great brands that we have on the market, but all of that hinges on us being able to serve the communities in which we do business,” Greer said.

“We have these type of initiatives in every town in which we do business, so we always find opportunities to give back via money but also time,” she said. “As a whole, 85 percent of our employees volunteer their time and that’s a large part [of] the way that we contribute to the community. So for us, it’s just part of our responsibility we feel as a company to do that.”

Grant recipients for this year’s program included the American Red Cross East Georgia Chapter, The Boys and Girls Club of North Central Georgia, Camp Twin Lakes, Arts Association in Newton County, Conyers-Rockdale Council for the Arts, Faith in Serving Humanity, Family Promise of New Rock, Georgia Elks Aidmore Children’s Center, J.H. House Elementary School, Metro Alliance for Gifted Education, Newton County Community Partnership, Newton County Senior Services, Newton County Sheriff’s Office C.H.A.M.P.S. program, Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale, Project Renewal Domestic Violence Intervention Program, Rainbow Community Center, the Rockdale Emergency Youth Fund, Servants of the Lord Meals on Wheels, The Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, Walton County Senior Citizens Council, Washington Street Community Center and the YMCA of Metro Atlanta.

Mark Bible, General Mills plant manager, said the company had over $500,000 in requests for grant funding this year and that number continues to increase. He said the Covington and Social Circle plants only had $190,000 in funding between the two plants to give out.

“I wish we could give out and meet everybody’s full needs, but we are simply not able to do that and we do the very best to meet the needs and balance them as we can,” Bible said. “I’m also proud of General Mills. As a number of you have shared, [many] companies have stopped doing this or have reduced it significantly, and we’ve actually increased ours over the last couple of years and so I really take great pride in that.”

Bible also said that he looked forward to General Mills grant program every year because it’s a time each year where the company really lives out its mission.

“I love this day because we get to celebrate you, and it’s also an example of General Mills really living our mission, Bible said.

“Our mission is nourishing lives and we do that through the richness of our products, through the convenience of our products, through the health of our products, through the innovativeness of our products and also through the involvement and the engagement support of our communities that we call home. And certainly Covington and the Rockdale area is our home, and so we are very proud to support that and to be able to celebrate that mission.”