Donation aids Salvation Army’s backpack food programPublished 8:45am Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Hundreds of children in the Brandywine, Niles and Buchanan school districts will benefit from a significant donation to the Niles Salvation Army from the Precision Pipeline and Enbridge Energy companies.
On Monday, the companies presented an $11,270 check to the Salvation Army’s Feeding His Sheep program, which provides food to needy students on weekends during the school year.
A portion of the money was collected from Precision employees during a single work day. Enbridge then matched the donation.
“This program is just fantastic and Enbridge wanted to be part of it,” said Jennifer Smith, of Enbridge, during a ceremony Monday at the Niles Salvation Army Church.
Now in its third year, the Feeding His Sheep program serves approximately 250 area students. Backpacks are filled with food and sent home with students on Fridays.
Major Bill Walters, of the Niles Salvation Army, said research shows that students can struggle in school when they aren’t eating well on the weekends. The donation will allow the program — which has an annual budget of about $65,000 — to serve even more children.
“This is great because not only are we feeding kids, we are also helping with their education,” he said.
Enbridge, a Canadian oil company, is nearing the end of project to replace the pipeline extending from Griffith, Ind., to Marysville, Mich. A portion of the pipeline runs through Niles and hundreds of workers have been stationed in the area to work on the project.
Precision Pipeline was contracted by Enbridge to do the work.
Todd Smith, of Precision, said his company always tries to give back to the communities in which it works.
“We were glad to help the children,” Smith said. “This is something we do everywhere we go and we’ll keep doing it as long as we have pipelines.”
The Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce played a role in the donation process. Tyanna Weller, chamber president/CEO, suggested that Precision donate to Feeding His Sheep.
“In one day he raised over $5,600 for this program from workers and the management team. This was out of their own pockets,” she said.