MT. STERLING, Ill. – Dot Foods’ Mt. Sterling distribution center has given an estimated 1.5 million pounds of food and goods, including dry, frozen and refrigerated, worth more than $2.6 million to local Illinois food banks. In addition, the DC has contributed more than $67,000 in grants to eight area food pantries, including the Food Pantry of Lutheran Church of St. John, Community for Christ Assistance Center, Barry Food Pantry, Bethesda Food Pantry, Cass County Food Pantry, Madonna House, Schuyler County Food Basket and Two Rivers Council Foundation in Mt. Sterling.

“We are so grateful for the partnership with Dot Foods and their effort to help us keep up with the pace of the growing need of area residents,” said Kaleigh Friend, Central Illinois Food Bank. “Dot is making a huge difference in the 21 counties served through the Central Illinois Food Bank with their contributions.”

“Our pantry is now seeing an increase in the size of the households we serve and through the grant we received from Dot Foods, we’ve been able to add a variety of foods and products that we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to purchase,” said Lillian B. Bowen, Barry Food Pantry. “With their generous donations, we’re able to provide more balanced and nutritious meals for our families.”

Dot recently initiated a company-wide annual volunteer program, Teaming with Local Charities (TLC). Through the TLC program, Dot Foods employees are given an incentive to volunteer with local charities in the community. When an employee reaches 20 volunteer hours, he or she can elect to take eight hours off with pay or ask Dot to donate a $400 grant to a charitable organization that he or she designates. The Mt. Sterling DC recently added food pantries as a fourth category for the TLC program, connecting employees with the organizations to which Dot has contributed. So far in 2011, 151 employees have signed up for the TLC program and have volunteered a total of 1,675 hours.

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John Sutor, Kathie Brasel, Karen Stauffer, Pam Seckman and Anthony McDowell helped sort donations this summer at the Project Hope Soup Kitchen.

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Pam Seckman, volunteered at the Mt. Sterling Food Pantry.

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Chris Wagner stocks shelves at the Mt. Sterling Food Pantry

“Here at Dot, we recognize that there is a great need within the food pantries in the communities where we all work and live,” noted Dot Foods’ senior IT programmer and analyst, Anthony McDowell. “We hope that through our donations and the countless hours our employees volunteer during the year, we can provide some relief to the food banks and pantries that help so many families in our area.”

Dot Foods Inc. carries 100,000 products from 700 food industry manufacturers and is the largest food redistributor in the United States. Dot Foods and Dot Transportation sell and deliver foodservice, convenience, retail, vending, equipment and supplies to leading distributors in all 50 states. Dot Foods operates eight distribution centers in: Modesto, Calif.; Vidalia, Ga.; Burley, Idaho; Mt. Sterling, Ill.; Cambridge City, Ind.; Williamsport, Md.; Liverpool, N.Y.; and Ardmore, Okla.