Butler County brewery producing canned water for Red Cross relief

One of Butler County’s largest employers is part of a new effort to provide clean drinking water to those affected by disasters.

The partnership between the American Red Cross and Colorado-based MillerCoors will result in the creation of 2 million cans of drinking water to be distributed during disaster relief efforts.

Cans will be produced and packaged over the next three years in Butler County at the MillerCoors Trenton Brewery in St. Clair Twp., which employs 530 people.

The brewery produced 128,300 cans of water in April and projects to produce the same amount this September, according to Denise Quinn, plant manager for the brewery.

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“The Trenton Brewery was proud to be selected to produce canned water for humanitarian relief,” she said. “Participating in the community as a true partner is the right thing to do, especially when there’s a disaster that affects our friends, neighbors and family members from having safe drinking water to consume.”

The Butler County location of MillerCoors was chosen from the company’s seven other plants because it is a high-performing brewery that possesses the necessary flexibility, Quinn said.

“Our technology allows us to easily implement the necessary production,” Quinn said. “The can line that runs the water can run 1,300 cans per minute.”

The company has a history of providing financial support to Red Cross dating back prior to the launch of MillerCoors in 2008, she said.

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Leveraging its employees’ time and talent to produce and distribute clean water is the next step to better provide help to communities in need.

Quinn said the brewery has contributed humanitarian water in the past “but not on this scale.”

Each year, the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters across the country, including home fires, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and wildfires.

The water canned at the MillerCoors Brewery is being made available during those disasters to requesting relief agencies, in coordination with the Red Cross, to ensure that clean water is provided to people in need.

“Providing clean water during a disaster is one of the most urgent and important needs,” says Patricia Smitson, CEO of the Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region of the American Red Cross. “Often drinking water becomes contaminated or inaccessible after a disaster, but the basic human need for water doesn’t diminish.

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“Having these cans of clean water provided by MillerCoors allows the Red Cross to meet the basic humanitarian needs of those impacted by a disaster during a very critical time.”

Red Cross services are provided to people in need of assistance at no cost and regardless of income through the generosity of Red Cross donors—including corporate donors, such as MillerCoors.

Although the packaging of the water is being done in the Butler County brewery, the partnership between the Red Cross and MillerCoors is being made at a national level and includes Colorado-based Ball Corp., which manufactures the cans, and Atlanta-based Graphic Packaging International, which handles the packaging of the product.

Ball’s philanthropic arm, the Ball Foundation, already provides financial support to the Red Cross in advance of major disasters as a Disaster Responder member.

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530 - Employees who work at the MillerCoors Trenton Brewery

128,300 - Cans of water produced already as part of the deal

64,000 - Disasters across the country the Red Cross handles annually

2 million - Cans of water to be donated as part of the agreement

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