Irish-headquartered Hanley Energy celebrated their roots in both Ireland and Loudoun on St. Patrick’s Day by delivering a box truck loaded with more than 5,000 pounds of breakfast cereal to Loudoun Hunger Relief—and then throwing in the truck as well.
The donation marked both the holiday and the company’s five-year anniversary of establishing its flagship American operation in Ashburn, where it serves the energy needs of manufacturers and the data center industry.
Both the food and the truck will come as welcome help as the nonprofit has seen its work skyrocket over the past year, said Loudoun Hunger Relief President and CEO Jennifer Montgomery.
“Hanley has been really a remarkable partner to us in the last year, beginning with a spontaneous visit that [Hanley Energey CEO] Clive [Gilmore] made to our parking lot last August when we looked crazy and wild and things were crazy,” Montgomery said. “But he wanted to come see for himself the kind of work that was going on here, so in addition to the support that they’ve given to us financially, they’ve provided extras along the way.”
That also included a matching grant during Tuesday’s Give Choose day of charitable giving.
Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) pointed to the important role of nonprofits like Loudoun Hunger Relief in helping people through the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as their partners in the for-profit business world. She remembered the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Loudoun just over a year ago, when many people suddenly found themselves out of work as businesses were forced to suddenly close to the public.
“We saw the needs for our nonprofits go up, and we saw the donations to our nonprofits go down. We saw that almost immediately,” Randall said. “And so what we learned right away was the village had to get really big, really very quickly, and the village for us were our businesses. And our businesses jumped right in and started working with our nonprofits, and Hanley Energy was one of the first businesses that did that.”
The ceremony Wednesday also included a video message from the Irish Ambassador to the United States, Daniel Mulhall.
“It’s a fitting way to celebrate the fifth anniversary of their arrival in the United States, and it’s even more fitting that that should happen on Saint Patrick’s Day 2021, when unfortunately we’re having to celebrate in a virtual environment,” Mulhall said.
“I applaud your passion, your dedication, your selflessness and your energy to do the greater good in this community,” Hanley Energy CEO Clive Gilmore told Loudoun Hunger Relief. “I’m also reassured that Hanley Energy’s monetary support thus far has assisted Loudoun Hunger Relief to purchase up to $70,000 of food each month.”
Loudoun Hunger Relief is serving between 800 and 1,000 families each week directly, in addition to also providing food through partner organizations. In part because of those partnerships, such as serving as the central distribution service for JK Community Farm, Loudoun Hunger has had to expand its fleet of vehicles.
Loudoun Hunger also uses around 900 boxes of cereal each week through regular service. The donation of cereal will help the nonprofit provide each family with cereal during March and April.
In 2020, Loudoun Hunger provided 2.6 million pounds of food to people in need in Loudoun. Gilmore closed with a quote from Irish poet Oscar Wilde: “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”