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Special Metals gives $35K to food bank

May. 15, 2013 @ 11:02 PM

HUNTINGTON -- A $35,000 gift from an area company will mean 288,000 meals for the Tri-State's food insecure individuals.

That donation was presented Wednesday morning by Special Metals and United Steelworkers Local 40 to the Huntington Area Food Bank, which serves nearly 200 agencies in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. The agency's three-state reach was, in large part, the company's motive for selecting the food bank as a donation recipient, according to Greg Kingery, president of USW Local 40.

"Most of our employees are from Huntington, Proctorville, Ashland and Chesapeake, so we wanted to donate to an organization that served all those areas," Kingery said. "Being able to help so many people in such a large area is important and we know Huntington Area Food Bank can feed so many."

Kingery said the company and the steelworkers union jointly established the Public Policy Fund in 2003, into which employee donated a certain numbers of cents based on pounds of material produced. In December, officials decided to start donating those funds to local charities. Twelve were selected and 10 responded, including the food bank.

"The food bank was one of the first ones we wanted to donate to," Kingery said. "It's a great feeling to be able to help an organization that serves so many people in the Tri-State."

Debra Johnson-Tourigny, president of the HAFB board, said the money donated by Special Metals will be used first to purchase and provide fresh produce to the food bank's partners, and then to provide regular commodities for the food bank's 100,000 families.

"We couldn't be happier with this donation," Johnson-Tourigny said. "Our first purchase with this money will be fresh produce. It's something we sometimes take for granted, but the people we will serve rarely get.

"We're very grateful and appreciate everyone at Special Metals for everything they've done for us," she said.

Follow H-D reporter Beth Hendricks on Facebook or Twitter @BethHendricksHD.

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