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Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp., U.S.A. has donated kitchen equipment to Nodaway County schools.

MARYVILLE, Mo. — After a cafeteria remodel in 2019 and a pandemic in 2020, one local manufacturer is now in the process of helping Nodaway County schools acquire quality kitchen equipment.

In September 2019, Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing Corp. USA completed a cafeteria and kitchen renovation and during the process found some of the equipment was no longer necessary.

Rather than toss the equipment, the company discussed and agreed offering it to Nodaway County schools who were feeling the brunt of budget constraints would be the best option.

From that point, Services Supervisor Shama Damgar took the lead and contacted local superintendents to find out what their needs were. While coordinating which district would receive which items, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The project halted while people hunkered down and the plant closed for a brief period of time in early 2020.

Since then, Damgar has been waiting for the right time during the pandemic recovery to begin scheduling pickups. That time is now.

“Some schools had very little that they wanted, if anything, where others had a large list,” she wrote in an email to The Forum. “We are currently working with the schools to get the items picked up.”

Damgar said it’s definitely been a process for all involved, but that she’s amid talking with the districts who will receive items to plan pickup.

Ranging from ovens and fryers, to vent hoods with fire suppression systems, the equipment runs the gamut. According to Tim Melvin, plant human resources manager, some of the equipment is fairly new, and some older, but all in excellent working conditions.

“Kawasaki is simply exercising our role as a corporate citizen, and felt local schools could benefit from this,” Melvin said.

Superintendent Johnnie Silkett told the South Nodaway R-IV board of education about the new equipment the district is receiving at last week’s board meeting.

“We are very appreciative of Kawasaki,” he said.

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