POET Donates Sanitizer to Health Care
Front-line workers across South Dakota will be receiving all-natural, ethanol-based sanitizer thanks to a partnership between POET and other area companies.
Researchers and production staff at POET’s Chancellor biorefinery have been working around the clock to produce the sanitizer in response to a severe shortage.
POET is donating 220 gallons of sanitizer to the city of Sioux Falls and 780 16-ounce bottles to the South Dakota Health Care Coalition. These groups will then distribute the product to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, firefighters, EMS and other front-line workers.
POET also is donating sanitizer to Pioneer Memorial Hospital & Health Services in Viborg, which provides health services to many of the POET team members who work at the Chancellor facility.
“A great strength of the American economy is its ability to adapt. I am grateful POET has shifted production to much-needed hand sanitizer for first responders, including Sioux Falls police, fire rescue and EMS personnel,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said in a statement. “Sioux Falls is fortunate to have a great community partner and corporate citizen like POET headquartered here.”
As COVID-19 began spreading rapidly across the state, POET “embraced its culture of innovation” in finding a way to use its existing resources and expertise to protect front-line workers.
POET’s strengths in engineering and operations positioned it to quickly enhance the existing capabilities at its Chancellor facility to create the bio-based sanitizer product that will alleviate a need of the community, the company said.
“Front-line workers are facing risks every day to keep our communities safe from COVID-19, and we all need to do our part,” POET founder and CEO Jeff Broin said.
“At POET, we saw an opportunity to help our community while living our mission – to be good stewards of the Earth by converting renewable resources to valuable goods – and created an all-natural, ethanol-based sanitizer product. Bio-based products, like the sanitizer we’re donating today, are a safe, affordable solution for our community’s everyday needs, from fuel for our cars to sanitizer for our families.
POET partnered with local companies, including Senproco Inc. to bottle the sanitizer and Cimarron Label to provide the labels.
The additional supply of sanitizer comes at a critical time as cases are increasing across the state.
“This is another reminder of the great partnerships that we have in South Dakota,” said Lynn DeYoung, executive director of the South Dakota Health Care Coalition. “POET saw a need and became innovative to protect health care workers, EMS, fire, law and critical infrastructure personnel. This donation will also protect many of the community’s most vulnerable citizens who reside in long-term care centers within Lincoln, Minnehaha and McCook counties.”
POET is continuing to make the sanitizer and is working on setting up a digital storefront and finding retail partners in the region to increase access to the product.