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Golden State Foods, United Stationers donate school supplies

CONYERS — Golden State Foods Foundation and United Stationers have donated backpacks full of school supplies for Newton County School System and Rockdale County Public Schools students. In all, more than 600 backpacks stuffed with school supplies will make it into the hands of area students.

“In 2007, Golden State Foods Foundation and 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 Golden State Foods Human Resources Manager Kim Donahue. “This is consistent with our mission and the program helps to engage our employees 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 employees.”

Donahue noted that employees from Golden State Foods and United Stationers teamed up to stuff each of the backpacks with school supplies. In all, the group donated 300 backpacks to Newton county Schools; 350 to Rockdale County Schools; and 50 to a local women’s shelter. An additional 500 backpacks were donated to Gwinnett County Schools.

“These backpacks and school supplies are paid for by the people who work for Golden State Foods,” Corporate Vice President Dr. Wayne Morgan explained. “The funding comes through payroll deductions and all of the money collected is put back into our local community.”

Staff from the Newton County School System expressed appreciation for the generous gift.

“We’re most appreciative of Golden State’s contributions to our children,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of Newton County Schools. “This will mean a great deal to so many of our students.”

Middle Ridge Elementary School Principal Michael Forehand said the gift would encourage students in many different ways.

“At our school we continue to see an increase in student enrollment, especially after the Labor Day holiday. We have 703 students enrolled to date, which is almost 100 more students than we had at the opening of school last year,” Forehand said. “Entering a brand new school can be a scary time for young children. Students innately appreciate a structured and safe environment. We are so thankful to Golden State Foods for providing our students with extra book bags and school supplies for those who are in need of such items. Never underestimate the power of a new book bag, notebooks, and pencils! Students who are prepared have an extra boost of confidence and are ready to learn. The generosity of Golden State Foods and their hard-working and generous staff is appreciated by the faculty, staff, and families of Middle Ridge Elementary School. Additionally, appreciation is noted by the beautiful smile of a child when receiving a brand new book bag, pencils, and crayons.”

Golden State Foods is located in Conyers.