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Companies donate school supplies
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Golden State Foods Foundation and United Stationers have donated more than 400 backpacks (five pallets) full of school supplies for local students. Kim Donahue, Human Resources Manager for Golden State Foods made the presentation Aug. 9 at the Newton County Board of Education.

"We're most appreciative of Golden State's contributions to our children," said Gary Mathews, Superintendent of Newton County Schools. "This will mean a great deal to so many of our students."

The book bags will be distributed to students at Middle Ridge Elementary, Porterdale Elementary, Fairview Elementary, Live Oak Elementary, West Newton Elementary, South Salem Elementary, Clements Middle, Liberty Middle and Challenge Charter Academy.

"In 2007, Golden State Foods Foundation and United Stationers Charitable Foundation established a backpack program as a successful model to help children begin the school year with a proper and complete set of school supplies," said Donahue. "This is consistent with our mission and the program helps to engage our employees in meaningful, charitable activities that make a difference in the lives of those in need. The fact is many students begin the school year with inadequate or no supplies and this program meets this need. We also hope students feel encouraged by the support they receive from our company and employees."

Donahue noted that employees from Golden State Foods and United Stationers teamed up to stuff each of the backpacks with school supplies. In all, the group donated 900 backpacks to students - 400 in Newton County, 170 to J.H. House Elementary in Rockdale County, and 300 backpacks were delivered to schools in Gwinnett County.

"South Salem enrolls new students on a continual basis," said Holly Dubois, principal of South Salem Elementary School. "Being new to a school and/or coming in after the start of the year can be a big adjustment for children. Walking into a new classroom without school supplies adds to an already nervous child's discomfort. Thanks to the generosity of organizations like Golden State Foods, children at South Salem who need school supplies will be able to walk into their new classroom prepared with school supplies and a beautiful new book bag. It can change the whole child's demeanor by getting him/her off on the right foot by being prepared. School supplies are expensive, and every family is watching their budget. Donations of school supplies allow us to assist families in making sure their children have what they need to be successful in school. While teachers provide classroom supplies for students, it's just not the same as having your very own."