Cullman Electric Co-op, TVA donate $30K to local agencies during COVID-19 pandemic

Left to right are Cullman Caring for Kids Executive Director Javon Daniel, Cullman Electric Cooperative board members Lynda Carter and James Fields and Cullman Caring for Kids Assistant Director Nancy Bryant.

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman Electric Cooperative is proud to announce it has partnered with the Tennessee Valley Authority to award a total of $30,000 to three Cullman-area agencies to assist their ongoing work serving the community during the COVID-19 crisis.

Cullman Electric Cooperative’s board of trustees approved $5,000 donations for Cullman Regional Medical Center, the North Alabama Agriplex and Cullman Caring for Kids Food Bank. TVA, through its COVID-19 Community Care Fund, donated an additional $5,000 to each organization.

“Cullman Electric Cooperative was created for the purpose of serving our community, and that principle is still at the heart what the co-op does each day,” said Cullman Electric Cooperative Board Chairman Robert Tidwell. “We are honored to help the Agriplex, Cullman Regional and Cullman Caring for Kids as they serve our community during this difficult time. It has been amazing to see all the different ways people and businesses in our community have pulled together to help each other. We’re glad to be part of that, and we appreciate TVA joining us to increase the impact of our donation.”

North Alabama Agriplex Executive Director Rachel Dawsey said the donation will be used to purchase fresh produce from local farmers that will then be distributed to food banks, churches and other agencies that help feed families in need.

“The Agriplex is so excited about getting local fresh produce to the food insecure in our community,” Dawsey said. “Cullman Electric Co-op’s generous donation will allow the Agriplex to support our local farmers and feed those in need.  This has been a hard time for our community and world, and this partnership will allow us to help those struggling.”

Lindsey Dossey, vice president of marketing and public relations at Cullman Regional, said the hospital will use the donation to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and nurses, and for additional surgical masks needed to protect patients at the hospital.

“Cullman Regional appreciates this donation as it will help purchase additional PPE for us to have in place for the future,” Dossey said. “The community has been so supportive of us throughout this pandemic, and our team is so grateful for the numerous ways everyone continues to give back and help during this situation.”

Javon Daniel, executive director at Cullman Caring for Kids, said the donation will be used to purchase food from USDA at a bulk discount to help stock the food pantry’s shelves.

“We’ve seen a substantial increase in the number of families coming to our food bank since the COVID-19 pandemic started,” Daniel said. “On an average month we serve more than 500 families, so this donation will be a tremendous help in meeting the increased demand.”

TVA has committed $2 million to its COVID-19 Community Care Fund to be used as matching funds for local initiatives addressing hardships created by this pandemic. The money is being distributed in partnership with local power companies throughout TVA’s service area which includes most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia.

“In the spirit of public power, we are honored to partner with local power companies to address the unprecedented challenges facing those we serve,” said Jeannette Mills, TVA executive vice president and chief external relations officer. “TVA has a mission of service to make life better for the people of the Valley, and providing these funds to address immediate needs is one way we can help ease the burdens on families and communities.”

Cullman Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit electric distribution cooperative, serving more than 44,000 member accounts in Cullman, Winston, Morgan and Lawrence counties.

Cullman Electric Cooperative board members James Fields (left) and Lynda Carter (right) with Cullman Regional Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Lindsey Dossey
Cullman Electric Cooperative board members Lynda Carter (left) and James Fields (right) with North Alabama Agriplex Executive Director Rachel Dawsey (center)