Google pic

The Pantry is receiving $35,000 from Google to provide 4,000 meals for students over the weekend for 10 weeks. Director Frank Smith, pictured, said: “This gift will have a real impact and help us serve thousands of hungry children in the Douglas County community.”

Google first opened its Lithia Springs data center in east Douglas County in 2003.

Since then, the tech giant has built a reputation as a good neighbor, contributing to local schools, providing free wifi in Douglasville, hosting the annual Georgia Gravity Games downtown on Church Street and helping with a host of other projects in the community.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Google has stepped again with a commitment of $185,000 to local organizations for COVID-19 relief.

The company announced its most recent contributions Thursday to help Douglas Countians during the pandemic.

“Douglas County is our home, and we’ve seen COVID-19 impact this community in a number of different ways,” said Jim Brown, site operations manager for Google. “We have continued to identify and explore ways to help address some of these challenges, and we remain committed to supporting our neighbors — from frontline healthcare workers to students, researchers and nonprofits — as we confront this global pandemic.”

The contributions include:

• $100,000 to the Douglas County Education Foundation for devices to support remote learning.

• $35,000 to The Pantry to provide 4,000 meals for students over the weekend for 10 weeks.

• $25,000 to the Douglas County Economic Development Authority to assist small business owners with financial needs.

• $25,000 to West Georgia Technical College Foundation to support financial aid for students.

Beyond financial commitments, Google said it has also contributed 100 tech devices to the WellStar Hospital Foundation and 40 devices to Douglas County to assist with COVID-19 response.

Frank Smith, director of The Pantry, said: “We are deeply grateful to our friends at Google for their support during these especially challenging times. This gift will have a real impact and help us serve thousands of hungry children in the Douglas County community.”

Chris Pumphrey, executive director of the Douglas County Economic Development Authority, said, “Google played an integral role in our COVID-19 support for our businesses.”

“Their contribution to our Douglas County Small Business relief fund will provide grants to Douglas County small businesses adversely affected by this sudden shock to our economy,” Pumphrey said.

Google has invested over $1.2 billion in Douglas County and created over 350 jobs in Georgia, according to information on its website. Since 2011, the company has awarded more than $7.5 million to Georgia nonprofits and schools. Google’s employees are active volunteers in the community.

Additionally, Google worked with the Douglasville-Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority to design an innovative reuse water system to use recycled water for 100% of its cooling needs at the Douglas County Data Center.