Simmons Employees Deliver Food to Five Madison County Pantries

Simmons Food Drive 4Simmons Employee Foundation Food Drive Collects 38,000 Pounds in Donations

Simmons Hanly Conroy employees delivered Nov. 25, more than 38,000 pounds of food and personal hygiene items to five Madison County area pantries raised during the 7th Annual Simmons Employee Foundation Food Drive.

“Giving back to others helps make the holiday season brighter, and I think everyone who helps with the Firm drive feels that way,” said Amy Garrett, Simmons Hanly Conroy Shareholder and SEF Director. “Because of their work, we were able to deliver six or seven pallets of food to five area pantries that will help feed hundreds of local families who might otherwise go hungry.”

This year’s SEF food drive raised 38,683 pounds of food and toiletry items and exceeded last year’s total of 36,430 pounds. On Nov. 21, firm employees sorted and divided the food into five equal portions of about 7,700 pounds each, which were then shrink wrapped and loaded onto pallets.

The morning of Nov. 25, the pallets were loaded onto two boom trucks and delivered to the Alton Salvation Army, the Crisis Food Center in Alton, the Community Hope Center in Cottage Hills, the Collinsville Area Ministerial Association’s Helping Hands food pantry, and the Community Care Center in Granite City.

Holly Allen, emergency social services case worker, was amazed as workers from RCS Construction inSimmons Food Drive 3 Wood River unloaded about six pallets at the Alton Salvation Army.

“It was such a blessing seeing how much food the Firm donated,” she said. “Our supplies were running low so it was such a relief. We are very thankful for the delivery and everything the Firm does to help the community.”

Across the street, RCS workers Jeff Daugherty and Trevor Shields unloaded another six pallets at the Crisis Food Center. RCS donated both trucks, the gas and the drivers to help load and unload the items.

“It’s food drives like the Firm drive that help us continue to provide the nutritional balance our families need,” said Susan Jolley, executive director at the Crisis Food Center in Alton.

The Center feeds an average of 40 to 50 families a month. For November and December, the number of families fed spikes up to 70 or 80, she said. The firm’s donation is the third largest the center receives each year, behind the Boy Scout Food Drive and the U.S. Postal Service.

Simmons Food Drive 8Because of the larger food drives, Jolley said, the center has not had to turn hungry families away, despite the difficult economy.

“We absolutely couldn’t do it without them,” she said. “Over the last three years, the economy has been tough on the people who need help and on the people who donate as well.”

The SEF Food drive is also supported by corporate sponsors in the community. In addition to RCS Construction, Kienstra Illinois, of Wood River, Ill., supplied a second driver. Save A Lot in Granite City also donated the delivery of 35,000 pounds of food and items from its store to the firm’s warehouse in East Alton.

“We are thankful to everyone who donated and helped deliver the food. We couldn’t have done it without them,” Garrett said.