TREMONTON – Cathy Newman, the director of the Tremonton Food Pantry, was shocked when she received a $10,000 check from Malt-O-Meal in Tremonton on Tuesday.
The cereal company was commemorating 100 years of the Malt-O-Meal brand and 125 years of the Post brands by donating $25,000 to local charities.
“They have never donated money to us before,” Newman said. “They have supported us with cereal, but this was a real surprise I didn’t expect.”
She said the money will go a long way to help approximately 150 families she works with on a monthly basis.
“For us, it’s a sizable donation,” she said. “In the 14 years I’ve been here it is the biggest donation we’ve received, except for when Tremonton City built our building.”
The donation will also be a big help to pay for utilities and buy food for the facility.
“We still have to pay for our building and utilities,” Newman said. “We rely on private donations and grants to help us operate.”
Utah Food Bank Representatives Tia Allen and Scott Woodhead from Salt Lake accepted a $15,000 check from the cereal maker.
The donations from Malt-O-Meal helps the Utah Food Bank keep true to its mission of Fighting Hunger Statewide. Food Bank officials said there are 382,000 people in Utah, or one in eight individuals, who are at risk of missing a meal daily.
“It’s fun to give back to the community like that,” Mark Suchan, the Tremonton Plant manager, said. “Today’s donation is in line with our company mission statement: Make Better Happen.”
This year, for their anniversary, the cereal company committed $250,000 to help feed hungry families in the communities where they have facilities across the country.
The Tremonton cereal maker employs 215 people at the facility with employees from towns and cities in northeast Utah and southeast Idaho. They produce 1.5 million servings a year and continue to develop new products.
The plant operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and produces over 300 different products.
Suchan said the plant is always in operation and produces more products than people might realize. Most of the grains used in Malt-O Meal cereals produced in Tremonton are harvested by farmers in Northern Utah, Southern Idaho and Southern Wyoming farms.
Mike Midby, manufacturing vice president of Post Consumer Brands, said the Tremonton plant was one of their top producing plants in the country and they have an excellent safety record.
“It is cool that this plant is one of the top safe plants in the company,” Midby said. “This plant has an excellent safety culture.”
Suchan said the Tremonton facility is Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program certified by OSHA. Suchan said, “It’s a big deal that we are in compliance with OSHA regulations.”
Tonya Brake, the company talent officer for the company, also paid tribute to 20 employees that are still with the plant from when it first opened in 2003.
In 2015, Malt-O-Meal was purchased by the Post Company and the name was changed to Post Consumer Brands. It is the third largest cereal company in the United States.
The Tremonton location was the first Malt-O-Meal built outside of Minnesota, the company’s home state. They ship 130 million pounds of cereal a year.