General Mills presents grants for community organizations

COVINGTON -- General Mills continues to support area community organizations with its grant program.

On Friday, the Covington plant provided $190,000 worth of grants to schools and nonprofit organizations in Conyers, Covington and Social Circle.

"This is General Mills living our mission -- nourishing lives," said Mark Bible, plant manager of General Mills' Covington plant.

He said he is proud that in both good and rough economic times, that the company is able to provide the grants.

General Mills received more than $500,000 in requests this year.

"It speaks to the need in our community," Bible said.

The company's Community Partnership Council reviews each grant application that comes in to determine which will receive funds each year.

This year, 27 organizations received grants.

Area groups and organizations that split the grant funds include the Newton County Theme School at Ficquett, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta, the Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts, Georgia Elks Aidmore Children's Center, J.H. House Elementary School in Conyers, Newton County Community Partnership, Newton County Senior Services, Newton County Sheriff's Office, Prevent Child Abuse Newton and Rockdale, Project ReNeWal, Rockdale Coalition for Children and Families, Washington Street Community Center, Covington Family YMCA, American Red Cross East Georgia, Social Circle City Schools and Walton County Senior Citizens Council.

"We're always very appreciative of General Mills," said Steven Joyce, physical education coach at the Theme School. "Every year, they've always helped us out."

The grant will help the Theme School increase dancing and climbing in accordance with stricter physical education requirements from the state.

Grants also will support the Community Arts Association in Newton County to continue its youth and arts outreach programs, Liberty Middle School to expand its liberal arts and cultural diversity and to introduce more nutritional wellness at the Washington Street Community Center.

Many of the programs supported keeping children active and healthy.

"(General Mills) is a tremendous support," said Dr. Kathy Garber, grants coordinator at the Newton County School System. "It does take a whole village to raise a child."