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Cargill partners with nonprofits to ensure Lake Odessa’s community’s resilience amidst COVID-19


If you live in our school community, you know that the mission of Cargill’s Lake Odessa location is to help the world thrive.  For many years they stayed committed to that promise with local and global initiatives like Ronald McDonald Houses of West and Mid-Michigan, Feeding America of Ionia County, and Manna’s Market which provides food and services to Lake Odessa community members. Once again, Cargill has helped our community in a time of great need through the generous gift of $145,000 to the community at-large, and $20,000 to Lakewood Public Schools as a response effort to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are inspired by the tireless work of our doctors, nurses, schools, first responders, workers, nonprofits and those in agriculture who are making sure people and animals are cared for and no one goes hungry,” said Jay Patel, general manager of Cargill’s facility in Lake Odessa. “Together we are going to overcome this crisis and come out of this even more connected.”

As a school district, the financial support that Cargill has extended will support the needs of our students and families by providing meals, and distance learning support so that they can be healthy and achieve. Cargill’s contribution of $145,000 to the community will be put to good use to support emergency response, police, and fire departments in Ionia and Barry County. Additional recipients include Manna’s Food Pantry, Feeding America, and United Way’s Meals on Wheels programs who all are working to care for senior citizens and families in our local communities. 

“I am deeply thankful for community partner’s like Cargill and their outpouring of support at a time where families are experiencing challenging COVID-19 related hardships” cited Randy Fleenor, Superintendent at Lakewood Public Schools. “That kind of care is what makes our small town communities so special. It’s times like this that we are reminded how interconnected we are, and as a school district we are working to provide all of the help we can while simultaneously preparing for what’s next.” said Fleenor.  

"When volunteering at the local Feeding America food pantry location, I have been moved by the gratitude families are showing," said Patel. "It's clear there is a growing need in the community and at Cargill, we are honored to help support in any possible way to take care of and be there for each other."


Valerie Behm