During the season of giving, Missouri farmers can get into the holiday spirit by signing up to win $2,500 for your favorite local nonprofit organizations through America's Farmer's Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. One farmer in each of Missouri's 71 participating counties will win.
If you are a winner, you can choose to share some holiday cheer with food pantries, fire departments, 4-H clubs, FFA chapters, local schools, or other charitable organizations by signing up and designating an organization in their community. Food pantries give food to the hungry all year round; though, the need for food can be magnified around the holidays.
"We are committed to helping those in our rural community attain a higher nutritional standard than they could without some assistance," said Eugene Keats, president of the Living Hope Food Pantry board. "No community is immune to hunger, and Living Hope saves struggling families from having to choose between buying food and providing other necessities for their family. This donation will be a major boost in helping to nourish DeKalb County's families, children, and seniors toward a better life and strengthening our community."
This year, the program has expanded to include a total of 1,245 counties. The addition of 41 new counties will result in an additional $102,500 in donations. In Missouri, the Monsanto Fund will invest a total of $177,500 toward nonprofit organizations in rural communities.
Now through Nov. 30, 2011, farmers can apply online at www.growcommunities.com, or call 1-877-267-3332 to apply by phone. A $1 donation will be made to local United Way chapters for each farmer who signs up, to further enhance the investment in rural communities. Farmers who meet program eligibility requirements may enter regardless of involvement with previous Grow Communities programs. 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.
Eligible counties in Missouri include Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Audrain, Barton, Bates, Benton, Bollinger, Boone, Buchanan, Butler, Caldwell, Callaway, Cape Girardeau, Carroll, Cass, Chariton, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cooper, Dade, Daviess, De Kalb, Dunklin, Franklin, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Henry, Holt, Howard, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Knox, Lafayette, Lewis, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Marion, Mercer, Mississippi, Moniteau, Monroe, Montgomery, New Madrid, Nodaway, Pemiscot, Perry, Pettis, Pike, Platte, Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Ray, Saline, Scotland, Scott, Shelby, St. Charles, St. Clair, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Sullivan, Vernon, Warren and Worth.