CLINTON — Concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing financial hardships, a Clinton manufacturer has made a large donation to get food to those who need it.
The donation comes from LyondellBasell, whose leaders decided to tackle hunger globally. The company, which has a plant in Clinton, donated $50,000 to Information Referral & Assistance Services to combat hunger.
Megan Borchers, LyondellBasell spokeswoman, said company officials wanted to ensure they could do something that could help one of the cities they also call home.
“We are so proud to be in the Clinton area, and our employees live there, and our children go to school there,” Borchers said. “We really are a community partner and a neighbor. This is really special to us, especially when we can help combat hunger during COVID-19.”
LyondellBasell pledged a little more than $1 million to over 17 different countries in the fight against hunger. Locally, IRAS is a resource center for people to receive help for a variety of things, including food and financial assistance for utility bills and prescriptions.
IRAS Executive Director Regan Michaelsen said her organization was excited to receive an invitation to apply for the funding. She said is the largest single donation that IRAS have ever received, and she said it could not come at a better time with the pandemic’s effects on the community.
Michaelsen said that with so many in the area being unemployed, the various food pantries are becoming more important by the day.
“With many people not able to go to work, the food pantries are needed more than ever,” Michaelsen said. “Many have lost income, and even though some have been able to apply for unemployment, that doesn’t come right away. There is still a gap. Stimulus checks are being used to make rent or utility payments to be sure they keep a roof over their heads in this uncertain time.”
With so many dealing with financial insecurities, Michaelsen said the contribution from LyondellBasell allows families to receive needed food at no cost at one of four food sites. Additionally, she said, it helps IRAS continue to provide weekend food packages to food-insecure children attending Jefferson, Whittier, Bluff and Eagle Heights elementary schools and the Clinton Middle School, even though school is not in session at this time.
As the pandemic continues, Michaelsen said there is also a shortage of food. With that being the case, prices have gone up and families throughout the Gateway area are struggling to provide for themselves. Michaelsen added that is why LyondellBasell’s contribution to the community is so critical.
“It is amazing to see how much a worldwide company like LyondellBasell cares about the communities they call home,” Michaelsen said. “What an incredible asset to our community.”