Solvay, the Belgian chemicals company with a specialty polymers manufacturing plant employing 350 people locally, is known for its innovative solutions and emphasis on cultivating sustainability. Its local leaders recently offered to match gifts made by Solvay employees to support their area community foundations' COVID-19 relief fundraising in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Parkersburg Area Community Foundation (PACF) Executive Director, Judy Sjostedt Ritchie, said that community foundations have a history of working collaboratively to create innovative and sustainable solutions for some of the most pressing concerns in their communities. She said, "We welcome partnerships from civic-minded companies like Solvay Specialty Polymers. While their facilities are located across the river from Parkersburg, the company's interests and those of its employees span both sides of the river. Thanks to the support of Solvay and Solvay employees, the PACF received an additional $7,050 for our ‘Hunger Fund.' Since Solvay awarded its matching check to us on May 5th, the same day that we were also participating in Philanthropy West Virginia's (PWV) "Take Five to Give Five" challenge, the Company's gift also generates an additional $1,760 from PWV."

Wally Kandel, Senior Vice-President and Marietta Site Manager for Solvay Specialty Polymers said, "We applaud our employees' generosity in responding to the needs of their fellow citizens. We are proud to partner with our local community foundations in Marietta and Parkersburg to help to provide relief to our communities."

Sjostedt Ritchie added that the gifts that PACF has received are being swiftly distributed from PACF's Hunger Fund and Safety Net Funds, to help meet essential individual and community needs.

"We are very grateful to our area's citizens. Because of their generous help, we've been able to grant more than $108,000 to date to address hunger relief and support emergency needs related to COVID-19," Sjostedt Ritchie said.

To contribute to the PACF's regional Hunger Fund, mail a check (payable to PACF, with "Hunger Fund," on the memo line) to PACF, PO Box 1762, Parkersburg WV 26102 or make an online gift at