Blog | December 11, 2018

Holiday Giving Part One: Lead Battery Industry Helps to Alleviate Hunger, Give Hope

ENTEKENTEK employees packed Thanksgiving boxes that fed more than 200 families in their Lebanon, Oregon community. Shown are (L-R) Josh Barnes, Austin Lindsey, Chris Kennedy, Michael Vis.

For most people, the holiday season is a flurry of celebrations and colorful tables overflowing with favorite foods. But that’s not true for everyone. The holidays can be an especially difficult time for the 40 million Americans who live in food-insecure households, defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.” This year, lead battery manufacturers and recyclers are once again reaching out to help those in need. Follow us over the next few weeks as we share some of those stories.

ENTEK: Packing Food Boxes to Feed Hundreds

ENTEK International, based in Lebanon, Oregon, manufactures and delivers lead and lithium ion separators, extruders and engineering services across six continents. But as the holidays near, the company increases its focus on the local community. This year, an ongoing corporate-giving program enabled the company to provide food boxes to feed more than 800 people during Thanksgiving.

Office Manager Lynsee Evans has coordinated the effort, which stretches across three branches of the company, for a number of years. She said it’s beneficial on many levels. “The program not only helps the community, but it unites our company for a great cause. We have a chance to interact with co-workers and community members that we may not otherwise see.”

ENTEK works with suppliers and others in the community to execute the major undertaking. A local grocer delivers the food on pallets and then employee volunteers then get to work. Some assemble the food boxes, while other greet recipients and help load their cars. This year employee volunteers packed 200 meal boxes with meal ingredients (turkey, ham, potatoes, vegetables, rolls and dessert), so that the receiving family could prepare the meal together and to their taste.

International Thermal Systems:  Harvesting Fresh Food from the Field

International Thermal Systems

Milwaukee area ITS employees take a break after harvesting fresh produce for the local food bank. Front row (L-R) John Halbur, John Zea, John Kubacki, Terry Vetsch, Dave Borchardt, Brian Eliszewski; back row Zach Crouse and Andrew Ignasiak.

Venture from the West Coast to the Midwest, and you’ll find employee volunteers at International Thermal Systems (ITS) literally gathering food from the fields for local Milwaukee families. The company is a global supplier of industrial equipment for a broad range of industries, including automotive, power generation and battery manufacturing. Last summer, employees traveled to Hunger Task Force Farm, a unique 208-acre urban oasis in the Milwaukee suburb of Franklin. The Farm grows and delivers more than half a million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to the local food bank.

Lori Phillips, ITS marketing specialist, said, “Our volunteers helped harvest vegetables like corn and red cabbage. The fresh produce is delivered the next day to enhance the nutrition of those who normally rely on canned or nonperishable foods. It’s a great way to help those less fortunate, spend time with colleagues, and enjoy the fresh air.”

For Thanksgiving, the Hunger Task Force also tapped ITS to assist with the nonprofit’s local cereal drive. Within the first week, ITS employees collected 75 boxes to contribute to Thanksgiving meals and groceries that the Hunger Task Force delivered.

The Doe Run Company: Generously Giving Food and Gifts

Doe Run

Doe Run employees collect canned goods for area food pantries; pictured are (L-R) Brett Capps, Kelly Hodge, Dixie Bess, Debbie Briglia, Alicia Ritter and local agency representative, Kelly Eaton.

Based on geography alone, The Doe Run Company knows first-hand the need for holiday support. The metals and mining company has been a presence in Missouri for more than 150 years, operating in “the lead belt” in Southeast Missouri. Doe Run provides employment in a region that lacks good manufacturing jobs. This holiday season, the company is supporting food drives to stock area food pantries.

Tammy Stankey, senior communications liaison, noted that a similar drive earlier this year yielded more than 3,500 items for local charitable organizations. “Based on our past experience, we know our employees are generous and eager to help their neighbors.” In addition to the food drives across the company’s facilities, its operations group has ‘adopted’ nine families and their Christmas lists to ensure they have a good Christmas.

Join the Village

By sharing these stories, members of the lead battery industry hope to inspire other companies to give generously. Please stay tuned for more inspiring stories in the weeks ahead.

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Roger Miksad

Lead batteries have a bright future, and some incredible innovations are on the horizon.

Roger Miksad, President, Battery Council International