Bechtel donates $23,500 to Second Harvest to combat childhood hunger
Generous funding supports backpack and school pantry programs
Bechtel National, Inc. has donated $23,500 to Second Harvest to fund childhood hunger-relief efforts in the Tri-Cities. The donation is added to Bechtel’s charitable contributions totaling almost $50,000 over the past three years to childhood hunger programs in our community.
Funding from Bechtel supports ongoing service to Second Harvest’s “Bite2Go” backpack program and local school pantries each school year. Both programs address a critical need, with one in five kids in Benton and Franklin counties being food-insecure, meaning they don’t have access to enough healthy food and might not know where their next meal is coming from.
“We cannot thank Bechtel enough for their generous ongoing support of our childhood hunger programs. Their continuing contributions help us reach high-need, underserved students to improve their overall health and security,” said Chelsea Armstrong, Regional Executive Director.
Bite2Go weekend food kits are currently sent home to 750 students in 17 area schools each week. Kits include meals and snacks in a mix of easy-to-open, nonperishable, single-serving items that don’t require cooking. Sponsorships by local corporations, businesses, churches and individuals offset Second Harvest’s costs of purchasing the specialty items.
“We were eager to support Second Harvest’s programs to combat childhood hunger,” said Valerie McCain, Bechtel principal vice president. “As a company focused on building a next generation of workers who excel in science, technology, engineering and math, we have to look at what impacts a student’s ability to learn.
“Students who are hungry can’t learn. Our partnership with Second Harvest helps ensure students can focus on learning, not on whether they’ll have a meal that day.”
A portion of Bechtel’s donation serves as “gap funding,” or funds that prevent lapses in service and ensure kids who normally receive Bite2Go kits have uninterrupted service. In the Bite2Go program, teachers, counselors and administrative staff identify the students in need and provide weekly meal kits of nonperishable food and drink for over a weekend. Many companies, schools and nonprofit organizations support this program and staff the kit development and distribution.
Bechtel also supports five Second Harvest pantries that are located at specific schools and district offices and serve elementary through college-aged students. For example, a recently opened Finley School District pantry receives support from Second Harvest directly funded through Bechtel’s donation. Generous funding provides ongoing servicing of the pantries, stocking them with healthy produce and other perishable and non-perishable foods. In the past eight months, more than 39,000 meals have been provided to local students in need.
Both programs make food supplies available to thousands of local students in need.
Bechtel is one of the most respected global engineering, construction, and project management companies. Together with our customers, we deliver landmark projects that foster long-term progress and economic growth. Since 1898, we’ve completed more than 25,000 extraordinary projects across 160 countries on all seven continents. We operate through four global businesses: Infrastructure; Nuclear, Security & Environmental; Oil, Gas & Chemicals; and Mining & Metals. Our company and our culture are built on more than a century of leadership and a relentless adherence to our values, the core of which are safety, quality, ethics, and integrity. Bechtel National Inc. is the lead contractor for designing, building and commissioning the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant where nuclear waste will be vitrified for safe, long-term storage. at the Hanford Site. www.bechtel.com