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LyondellBasell provides year-round help to SAM Food Pantry

Submitted photo
Pictured in the back row from left are Bill Lyons, Michael Van Voorhis, Aaron McKee. Pictured in the front from left are Megan Borchers, Annette Wood, Cris Irace and Betsy Stuerke.

When Betsy Stuerke reflects on her life, she feels very blessed by the opportunities that she has been given. So blessed, she felt it was her social responsibility to volunteer her time and efforts to the SAM (Social Action Ministry) Food Pantry in Tuscola for 16 years.

“In today’s economic environment, people are making choices about buying food or paying utility bills or medical bills,” Stuerke said. “The SAM Food Pantry’s purpose is to make that choice a little easier for those in need.”

Employees at LyondellBasell’s Tuscola plant have come to understand, like Stuerke, the pantry provides critical support to many members of the community.

“LyondellBasell’s donation is immensely helpful in providing significant support so we can purchase large quantities of supplies,” Stuerke said. “This greatly increases the amount of food we can distribute to our clients.”

This year approximately 20 of the plant’s employees organized and collected food to benefit the pantry and stocked the shelves on a regular basis. The company provided a $1,800 grant to SAM Food Pantry in November.

“Obviously it feels good to give back,” said site manage Aaron McKee. “But it’s more than that. We get involved because we truly believe in their mission to satisfy a very basic need–hunger.”

Open since 1984, the pantry is dependent on donations from corporations, businesses, organizations, churches, and individuals. With more than 50 active volunteers, the SAM Food Pantry serves families all over Douglas County.

In addition to food distribution, the pantry also provides household items such as soap, detergents, toilet paper, facial tissue, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and shampoo to qualifying households in Douglas County.

“We are extremely grateful for the assistance given to the pantry and its clients through the past several years by LyondellBasell,” said Stuerke. “It means so very much to us all, both pantry volunteers and clients. LyondellBasell is a partner in every sense of the world.”

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