ST. GEORGE — A St. George company is serving up a heaping helping of helping for Thanksgiving.
Adams Construction and Management enlisted the help of low-income housing residents, as well as a helping hand from attorneys, contractors and accountants, to purchase food and donate it to local charities that in turn provide it to families who can’t afford a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Staff members from the company were out early Monday morning loading up trucks and a trailer outside the Washington City Walmart to deliver the bounty to Switchpoint Community Resource Center and The Learning Center for Families in St. George, as well as to the Iron County Care and Share.
All told, Adams Construction donated about 16 1/2 tons of food, company Vice President Keith Rhoton said, enough to provide meals to 1,600 families or about 9,600 people in Washington and Iron counties. The company will also be providing the same types of meals to approximately 500 more families in Arizona.
“We hope that those who benefit from these donations will simply try to take a minute over the holidays and do something for someone else,” Rhoton said. “We hope that our efforts are paid forward in some small manner and hope that this helps to make the holidays better for many people.”
Each meal includes a turkey, five pounds of potatoes, canned vegetables and a box of stuffing. Company employees delivered 1,200 meals to Switchpoint, 100 meals to The Learning Center and 300 meals to the Iron County Care and Share.
Adams Construction develops and manages high-quality low-income housing in Southern Utah and Arizona, Rhoton said. Founded in 1996, the company is based in St. George and has five locations in Washington County, one each in Iron and Sevier counties and a couple in Arizona.
Company officials, wanting to give back to the community, decided about a decade ago to start an annual food drive for underprivileged families in the area. At first, they collected food donations from tenants, but much of the food was expired and not suitable for what most families in the United States consider the most important dinner of the year.
So the company asked tenants for monetary donations, offering to match them dollar for dollar. There are no administrative or any other costs – 100 percent of all money collected and the matching funds goes toward buying food, Rhoton said. A $15 donation and $15 match can feed two families.
The number of families that the food drive served grew steadily, but slowly, to several hundred. Then, a few years ago, Adams Construction approached companies it worked with – subcontractors, attorneys, accountants and consultants – and offered them the same arrangement. The results were impressive, growing to a high of 2,100 families fed last year.
The company didn’t reach its goal of 2,500 families for this year, but that hasn’t dimmed its enthusiasm for the endeavor. Enthusiasm that in the past led to staff members shaving their heads or wearing outrageous costumes when the yearly goal was met.
“We are so thankful for all of our tenants’ and associated companies’ donations for our food drive this year. Together, along with our company donation, we raised over $29,000. It is a pleasure to be able to help so many people in need,” said Rhoton, who also thanked the staff at Walmart for putting together such a large order and having it completely ready for pickup.
“Our employees work very hard to make this successful every year. It is the best day of the year at our company and the smiles that we see on our employees faces during this event are unforgettable.”
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