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August 16, 2016

(L-R): NCSS Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey, Mr. Warren Oglesby, Ms. Kim Donahue, Karen Fenichel, Janice Jones, Joni Smith, James Massey, and NCSS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Craig Lockhart.

Golden State Foods Foundation and Essendant have donated backpacks full of school supplies for Newton County School System (NCSS) students. In all, 300 backpacks stuffed with school supplies will make it into the hands of NCSS students who need them.  

According to Ms. Joni Smith, Executive Administrative Assistant and Foundation Chair for Golden State Foods, each book bag contains a pack of paper, spiral notebook, pencil case, pencils, markers, crayons, ruler, box of tissues, erasers, glue stick, scissors, and a reading book.  Ms. Smith; Ms. Kim Donahue, Human Resources Director, Food Processing North America; Mr. Warren Oglesby, EMR/MRO Manager Food Processing, North America; Ms. Karen Fenichel, Regulatory Affairs Manager; Ms. Janice Jones, Staff Accountant for Golden State Foods; and Mr. James Massey, driver for Essendant; delivered and presented the book bags to Newton County School Superintendent Samantha Fuhrey and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Craig Lockhart on Friday, August 5.

“We appreciate Golden State Foods’ continued support of our students,” said Samantha Fuhrey, Superintendent of Newton County Schools. “For many years now, Golden State Foods has donated backpacks with school supplies to distribute to our students in need. This is a wonderful program and I can assure you, these backpacks will mean a great deal to the students who receive them.”

According to Fuhrey, each of the school district’s elementary and middle schools will receive backpacks to distribute as needed.

“In 2007, Golden State Foods and Essendant, formerly known as United Stationers Charitable Foundation, established a backpack program as a successful model to help children begin the school year with a proper and complete set of school supplies,” said Donahue. “This is consistent with our mission and the program helps to engage our associates in meaningful, charitable activities that make a difference in the lives of those in need. The fact is, many students begin the school year with inadequate or no supplies, and this program meets this need. We also hope students feel encouraged by the support they receive from our company and associates. Education is important and we want the students to have the tools they need to start the school year off right.”

Donahue noted that employees from Golden State Foods and Essendant teamed up to stuff each of the backpacks with school supplies. In all, the group donated 300 backpacks to Newton County Schools; 600 to Gwinnett County Schools; 300 to Rockdale County Schools; and 50 to a local women’s shelter.

According to Smith, the backpacks and school supplies are paid for by Golden State Foods’ associates, with funding coming through payroll deductions and multiple fundraisers. All of the money collected is put back into the local community.

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, director of public relations for Newton County School System, at