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Rio Tinto Boron extends a helping hand to mitigate COVID-19 impacts


August 15, 2020

Photo provided

Food distribution by volunteers from the Community Action Partnership of Kern.

Over the past few months, Rio Tinto Boron has worked in partnership with six local community organizations on COVID-19 initiatives across California, supporting food resilience, distance learning and vulnerable people and families.

Through its donation-matching program and corporate donations, the company and its employees have contributed more than $40,000 to the Community Action Partnership of Kern, the Antelope Valley Partners for Health, the Boys and Girls Club of LA Harbor, Bridge for Hope California City, the Beacon Light Mission and Antelope Valley Blue Star Mothers. In response to reduced availability of sanitation supplies, Rio Tinto technicians also started producing hand sanitizer directly at the Boron site.

In Kern County, California Action Partnership for Kern has been a pillar of community relief efforts since the beginning of the pandemic. Their critical services support families across the county through food and meal provision for those most vulnerable, a need which doubled at the onset of COVID-19.

"Rio Tinto donations have allowed us to set up distribution site locations throughout Kern County and acquire and purchase more food to better serve the communities," said Pritika Rahm, director of administration.

Pamela Bash, director for donor relations at the Boys and Girls Club LA Harbor, said "Our focus is on supporting meal delivery services, distance learning, and the creation of innovative summer programing to help kids who are stuck at home. We have just surpassed 75,000 meals served, and we are able to help these families at need because of the kindness of companies and friends like Rio Tinto."

In addition to these partnerships, Rio Tinto also made a special $12,000 contribution to the U.S. Borax Visitors Center Foundation. Each year, the Foundation awards scholarships to a few deserving students from Boron Junior Senior High School. In light of the challenges this year has brought, Rio Tinto supported the Foundation to award 12 scholarships to deserving and hardworking students. These scholarships will help them to further their education.

"Our entire team is committed to doing everything we can to keep our people safe through this crisis and build more resilience with our communities. From producing materials that help farmers grow better crops to raising funds for local organizations, we all have a role to play and we are looking forward to building more partnerships to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 here in California," said Richard Cohen, managing director, Rio Tinto Borates & Lithium.


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