During this time of precaution, most co-op staff meetings include disinfectant and face masks. But for the employees at Butler Electric, the meeting on June 25 included white hair nets and bright yellow funnels.
Showing their commitment to community, nearly 40 employees worked together to assemble more than 6,000 meals to donate to the local Kids Need 2 Eat program. This summer program assists communities in overcoming barriers to all children having daily access to the nutritious food. Each meal consisted of shelf-stable packets of macaroni and cheese that were enhanced with extra vitamins and minerals. The food items were provided by the Iowa-based Outreach Program and funded through a combination of the cooperative’s Operation Round Up program and the Co-Bank Sharing Success program.
There were dozens of tables set up in the co-op meeting room to accommodate the meal prep stations, and an 80’s music playlist set the tone. In five teams of six employees, Butler’s line crews and office staff worked together to combine the ingredients, and seal the bags. Another group boxed up the packets, and stacked the finished and taped-up boxes. The boxes were then distributed to local school-aged children throughout Butler county.
Butler’s mission is ‘Being Safe, Serving Members, Providing Value, Changing Lives’,” explained Sarah Madden, Butler’s office manager. “We have an Operation Round Up committee that reviews applications. But we were looking for a hands-on project so the employees could get a feel for the difference they’re making, instead of just writing a check.”
The employees assembled 6,000 meals in an hour and a half.
“I was amazed at how quickly it all came together,” Madden added.
In addition to the donation of the supplies to the Outreach Program, Butler’s Operation Round Up committee also donated $1,000 to the Kids Need 2 Eat program.
“It was great to help our community and have fun at the same time,” Madden said.