HyLife donates to Westman organizations

HyLife has donated more than $170,000 to charities in Manitoba and the United States, including the Killarney Food Bank and the Kin Club in Neepawa.

The pork processing company, which has facilities across North America and in China and Mexico, is headquartered in La Broquerie, Man., 291 kilometres east of Brandon, and has facilities in Neepawa, 76 km northeast of Brandon and Killarney, 99 km south of Brandon.

In a bid to give back to the communities in which it operates, the company wrapped up its HyLife 2022 Fun Days, a fundraising initiative featuring sports, food and entertainment in various communities, with the donations.

The Killarney Food Bank was chosen to receive $40,000 due to the rising cost of food, a press release sent out by HyLife on Oct. 17 said. The non-profit organization will use the money to convert a room into a much-needed walk-in cooler to increase donation capacity. Previously, the food bank had to turn away donations of perishable items due to a lack of cooler space.

Giselle Beaupré, secretary and client advocate with the food bank, said in the release that the non-profit was “beyond grateful” for HyLife’s donation.

“The amount of help that we’re going to be able to supply people with is amazing,” Beaupré said. “This kind of money gets us a cold room and tonnes of food to put in it.”

The Kin Club in Neepawa also saw a donation of $40,000 from the company. The group will use it to cover delivery and insurance costs from the purchase of its Trishaw bike to start a Cycle Without Age program, said Amanda Naughton-Gale, president of the Kin Club.

According to the Cycling Without Age website, Trishaw bikes are primarily designed to carry adults, especially elderly people and those with mobility issues.

“It’s an electric assist bike that allows two passengers,” Naughton-Gale said. “It promotes intergenerational time together and outdoor fresh air recreation opportunities for seniors and those with low mobility.”

The Kin Club purchased the bike for around $8,000 recently, Naughton-Gale said, and the program should be up and running next year.

“Getting everything … organized and ready to go for next year is our main priority and that’s where a lot of this money will end up going to.”

The rest of the donation will go towards supporting other Kin Club programs, from their annual scholarship to their seasonal initiatives, such as their Hugs for the Holidays seniors adoption program, where people from the community can “adopt” a senior and buy Christmas gifts for them during the holidays.

“We appreciate that [Hylife] sees that we’re doing great things in the community,” Naughton-Gale said.

The donations to Killarney, Neepawa, and other communities are HyLife’s way of giving back to the community, HyLife president and chief executive officer Grant Lazaruk said.

“This was a chance for our company to say a sincere thanks to those who are key to our success.”

When selecting which charities to give to, Kevin Geisheimer, chair of HyLife Fun Days, said it’s important to listen to what employees have to say.

“We look for charities … that can use that donation to take their organization to the next level,” Geisheimer told the Sun. “Charities tell us that when they receive a $40,000 donation, it allows them to dream.”

The company has been making Fun Day donations since 2011, and the philanthropy represents HyLife’s dedication to its core values of taking care of its employees and its communities, Geisheimer said.

“We do what we say and we say what we do. So we can say these things, but HyLife Fun Days directly represents us doing it.”

Miranda Leybourne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun