This past year, we saw how tough times could bring out the best in people. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, nonprofit organizations have done whatever they could to provide essential aid. Many of our Dot Foods and Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI) employees supported these efforts. Dot donated $10.9 million worth of food to our communities who helped product get into the hands of people who needed it most.
We’re shining a light on some of the generous employees who have been caring for our communities.
Donating cases of food might sound easy, but there were many steps involved in getting our excess product to vulnerable communities. Employees at all of our distribution centers (DC) pitched in to regularly provide donations to local and national nonprofits.
Dot Foods Mt. Sterling
Dot Foods Mt. Sterling provided goods to hundreds of organizations with the help of the following:
- Frozen Warehouse Lead Pete Mealiff managed multiple processes on the warehouse floor in getting donations organized, picked, and loaded.
- CDR Manager Diane Parker was the product system expert, putting orders in our system and ensuring full trailer loads were pulled out.
- Warehouse Clerk II Chanda Fleck dealt with many outside carriers, including the US Postal Service, to get the trucks on their way.
- In replenishment, Replenishment Analyst Dan Boyce juggled lists of products as it became available for donation and helped solve lots of issues as they came up.
- Director of Warehouse Doug Hammer provided process solutions and helped navigate the operational tweaks that were required.
- Most of our donated loads were picked up, but on occasion, Dot transported donated loads. When that happened, Driver Supervisor Jennifer Knapp took the lead in organizing transportation.
- Handling such a large volume of food donations was new to us. Thanks to Quality Systems Manager Becky Long, we were able to put a process in place and smooth out the kinks along the way.
Dot Foods Tennessee
Dot Foods Tennessee also had a busy year with food pantry donations. Year to date, they’ve given nearly 28,000 pounds of product to Reelfoot Rural Ministries. Warehouse Material Handler Cody McGowan loaded the food for their fall donation, and Dyersburg DC warehouse employees Brianna Hicks, Ben Vawter, Matt Pierce, and Shane Minnick picked these orders.
Illinois Food Giveaways
In the past couple of months, Dot Foods Mt. Sterling teamed up with the Central Illinois Foodbank to donate 2,300 cases of product. These were used in two drive-thru giveaways in Beardstown, Illinois. We also provided product to the food bank’s giveaway in Jacksonville, Illinois.
TLC volunteers at Dot’s food distribution events include Robbie Clark, Bailey Keech, Katie Petersen, Rosa Tafoya, Becky Long, Jonathan Martinez, Mark Barber, Kamila Waters, Malcolm O’Donnell, Oren Russwinkel, Liz Tracy, Dan Overton, Becky McCartney, Becky Long and Carol Robeson. Warehouse Lead Tresor Manikuna was Dot’s point person in getting the trucks unloaded.
Others opened cases, stacked up the food, loaded car trunks, and cleaned up after the event. Juan Aguado and Kevin Glasscock were the drivers at our Beardstown giveaways. Dot Driver Jeff Shade drove the load to Jacksonville on December 18, 2020. Driver Brock Thomas delivered a load to the Beardstown School on December 21, 2020. Thanks to them, we were able to feed over 600 families in the area during the holidays.
Local Charitable Work
Our corporate charitable committee, as well as committees across our locations, had the monumental task of resetting priorities to focus on meeting the immediate needs of our local nonprofits. Through their work, we have been able to balance our usual charitable activities, such as our Alzheimer’s Association and United Way fundraising, with helping our communities get through the pandemic.
American Red Cross
With COVID-19 putting a strain on blood donations, we put our efforts into supporting the American Red Cross. Corporate Charitable Committee Member Elly Passmore led the charge in creating a Dot Foods American Red Cross page, where our employees could commit to donating blood. She also organized on-site blood drives and collected information about donation opportunities across our locations.
As head of the corporate charitable committee, Suzy Parn coordinated with many local and national nonprofit agencies to get food to the nation’s people in need. Millions of pounds went out by trailer-loads to agencies. We also sponsored community food distributions and pantry pickup events in Mt. Sterling. This way, organizations could drive up to our headquarters to collect donations. Much of what was accomplished was due to FEMA’s involvement, acting as a liaison to help direct donations to areas of the country that were in greatest need.
And Everyone Else!
We know there were many names we missed, but we are truly thankful to all the Dot employees who are living out our values by supporting amazing causes. So many of you are doing whatever you can to get our communities through the pandemic.