Biodiesel Giving Back During COVID-19

    Originally published by the National Biodiesel Board

    While the global pandemic remains a focus across every industry, biodiesel supporters are banding together to help others in need.

    "I'm proud to see the response from others in our industry stepping up to help in their own ways," said National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen. "From producers donating glycerin for hand sanitizer, to organizing fundraisers to support local restaurants, and so much more that we have not yet seen."

    Due to the national shortage of hand sanitizer, various companies are stepping up to provide in new ways. In Iowa, biodiesel producer Western Iowa Energy and ethanol producer Absolute Energy donated shipments of ethanol and glycerin to be used for hand sanitizer. Similar stories came from Kentucky, where Owensboro Grain is to donating their glycerin for hand sanitizer and providing it to homeless shelters; and Illinois, where a partnership between the Illinois Soybean Association and the Chicago Parks District has resulted in sanitizer being available for all park staff and other essential workers.

    Companies in the Northeast are also looking for ways to lend a hand. Newport Biodiesel out of Rhode Island hosted a fundraiser to provide senior citizens with gift cards to struggling local restaurants, providing support for small businesses and food for those in need. In New York, NBB has teamed up with the National Biodiesel Foundation to provide hot meals sourced from local restaurants to first responders in New York City.

    "New York City is getting hit hard by the coronavirus and our friends at the fire department are on the frontlines of the response," said NBB Director of Outreach Tom Verry. "FDNY has worked closely with us for years to promote NYC's biodiesel use, so we wanted to give back and support these courageous men and women. FDNY helped us identify local restaurants who are also in need, so, with assistance from the New York Hospitality Association, we are able to provide a little help on two fronts."

    So far, the joint effort has been able to serve 2,200 meals to EMS dispatch centers in Brooklyn and the Bronx, multiple EMS stations, the mechanics of the Fleet Services Division, and other critical personnel. Donations to help continue supporting these efforts can be made through the National Biodiesel Foundation page.