united way

Representatives from the United Way of Southeastern Idaho and the J.R. Simplot Co. pose for a photo on Thursday at Idaho Central Credit Union in Chubbuck after Simplot made a $125,462.20 donation to the United Way.

CHUBBUCK — The J.R. Simplot Co. presented what will be one of the biggest donations of the year to the United Way of Southeastern Idaho on Thursday at Idaho Central Credit Union.

Simplot made a donation of more than $125,000. The company matched money raised by employees at the Simplot Don Plant in Pocatello and a Simplot engineering and manufacturing technology group across the street.

Don Plant manager Trisha Arave said Simplot more than doubled the target annual donation from its two Pocatello locations.

“It’s one of the ways that we want to give back to the community,” Arave said. “United Way does so much for the community in so many different ways. I really appreciate how they work with education and work with strengthening community health and help individuals and provide ways for people to become more financially stable.”

The donation should rank among the top five highest among workplace campaigns to the United Way of Southeastern Idaho, according to Kevin Bailey, CEO to the local United Way.

“The big number is really representative of a lot of little, but meaningful contributions from individuals (working at Simplot).” Bailey said. “Simplot’s contributions are essentially contributing to a more financially stable, healthy and educated Southeastern Idaho.”

Simplot employees volunteered to give portions of their paycheck to United Way, according to Arave, who said the key was educating them about what United Way donations are used for.

Bailey said the goal is to raise around $1 million by the end of the year for the local United Way, some of which would come from grants and workplace donations, among other avenues.

Bailey said the donations will help dozens of local programs, including Aid for Friends, the Salvation Army and crisis centers.

“We want to know how can we help strengthen the non-profit sector so that we’re hopefully achieving more financially stable families and less negative outcomes,” Bailey said. “So that’s part of our job, to try to figure out how we can best invest those dollars to make the biggest difference.”