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General Mills awards grants to area organizations

Winston Williams, a member of the board of directors for the Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter, hugs Bible upon accepting his certificate, as fellow General Mills employee Greg Joyner looks on.

Winston Williams, a member of the board of directors for the Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter, hugs Bible upon accepting his certificate, as fellow General Mills employee Greg Joyner looks on.

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General Mills' Covington plant manager Mark Bible honored organizations in Rockdale, Newton and Walton counties on Friday that received part of its $190,000 in grant funds. This is his fifth year to present the grants. Staff Photos: Lee Depkin

COVINGTON -- General Mills continues its community outreach by presenting another round of grants to area organizations.

On Friday, the Covington plant held a reception to honor educational and nonprofit organizations that it recently provided $190,000 worth of grants to in Conyers, Covington and Social Circle.

"This is one of my favorite times of the year," said Mark Bible, plant manager of General Mills' Covington plant. "This is an example of General Mills living its mission -- nourishing lives."

Like last year, the company received more than $500,000 in requests this year.

"We do the very best to meet the needs and balance them," Bible said. "Many companies have stopped doing this, so I'm very proud of General Mills."

Many of the grant recipients will use the extra funds for operating expenses and for nutritional and healthy programs for their members.

This year, 24 organizations received grants.

They include: the American Red Cross East Georgia Chapter, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta and North Central Georgia, Camp Twin Lakes, the Arts Association in Newton County, the Conyers-Rockdale Council for the Arts, East Metro Alliance for Gifted Education, Elks Aidmore, Faith in Serving Humanity, Family Promise of New Rock, J.H. House Elementary School in Conyers, the Newton County Community Partnership for Children and Families, Newton County Reads, the Newton County School System, Newton County Senior Services, the Newton County Sheriff's Office, Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale, Project ReNeWal, the Garden of Gethsemane Homeless Shelter, Rockdale Emergency Relief, Servants of the Lord Meals on Wheels, Walton County Senior Citizens Council, the Washington Street Community Center and the Covington YMCA.

"Without the support of General Mills in the community, a lot of us would be scratching our heads wondering where the next buck would come from," said Josephine Brown, executive director of Newton County Senior Services.

She said without the support of General Mills over the years, she doesn't know if some of the programs at the center would even exist.

This year, she is planning to support a new program, Program Plate Watchers, which helps seniors realize what foods they put on their plates to help them lose weight. The center also has added recently an interpretive dance group and a Zumba class.