This Thanksgiving, many people won't have the luxury of a warm house and food on the table. During the season of giving, Missouri farmers can do their part to help others throughout the holiday season by supporting local food pantries through the second annual America's Farmer Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.
For farmers, America's Farmers Grow Communities offers a chance to direct a $2,500 donation to a nonprofit organization in the community. This past year, numerous winning farmers nationwide directed their donations to local food pantries. In Missouri, farmers selected these nine food pantries:
Christian Community Food Depot - Adair County
Andrew County Ministries Food Pantry - Andrew County
Community Food Pantry of Butler - Bates County
Neelyville Nutrition Center - Butler County
Living Hope Food Pantry - DeKalb County
Fayette Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry - Howard County
Life Center Food Pantry - Livingston County
Operation Food Search - St. Charles County
Moniteau County Nutrition Center - Moniteau County
According to the national hunger relief organization, Feeding America, an estimated 3-million households in rural America lack the proper resources to put food on the table. Many of these households are located in farm communities that produce the food that feed American consumers. The $2,500 donation can help feed about 350 people in a rural community. Now through Nov. 30, 2011, farmers can apply online at www.growcommunities.com or call 1-877-267-3332 to apply by phone.
Farmers, age 21 and over, who are actively engaged in farming a minimum of 250 acres of corn, soybeans or 40 acres of open field vegetables, or at least 10 acres of tomatoes, peppers and/or cucumbers grown in protected culture are eligible. One winner will be selected at random from each of the 1,245 eligible counties, and the Monsanto Fund will announce winning farmers and recipient nonprofits in January 2012. Farmers who signed up for the program in 2010 may sign up again as long as they still meet eligibility requirements.
Visit www.growcommunities.com to sign up and to learn more about America's Farmers Grow Communities.