United Christian Services Food Pantry in Russells Point received a $2,500 donation from the America’s Farmer Grow Communities program, part of the Monsanto Fund. The local food pantry was nominated by local farmers Roxanna and Ken Shoffstall.
“All donations received by the pantry are used to provide food to low-income residents in the Indian Lake School District,´ said pantry president Sue Hurley. “We are a volunteer organization located in the Russells Point Municipal Building. Residents who meet federal income guidelines can come once a month to pick up food.” The pantry is open on the second, third, and fourth Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m.
“We pick up dry goods, fresh produce, baked goods and meats from the Second Harvest Food Bank in Springfield to give to more than 180 families each month,” Hurley said. Local groceries and parishioners in the seven churches that support the pantry also provide food and special items.
“This spring the youth at the Huntsville Methodist Church made up birthday party kits for children under 10 for us to distribute. There were tears in one grandmother’s eyes when she received a kit containing plates, napkin, cups, forks, prizes, and a cake mix and frosting for her grandson,” Hurley added.
Local farmers are asked to nominate organizations for a Monsanto Fund donation. This year, the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program will provide more than $3 million to nonprofit charities. The United Christian Services Food Pantry will use the donation to help purchase Thanksgiving turkeys to give families this year. The pantry also raises funds locally to provide hams at Christmas and Easter.
According to Monsanto Fund literature, the Grow Communities program’s purpose is to make a positive impact in farm communities by partnering with farmers to support causes important to them in their communities. Each year farmers enter for a chance to win a $2,500 donation to direct to a local nonprofit. Since the program began in 2010, more than $26 million in donations have been made across a broad cross-section of organizations that reflect the makeup and character of rural America. More than 8,000 food banks, emergency organizations, schools, and youth agriculture programs have received funds. The Monsanto Fund is the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company and is dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and company employees live and work.
Submitted on behalf of the United Christian Services Food Pantry.