Co-Alliance Cooperative Donates $4,000 to Centerville United Methodist Church Food Pantry

Jun 06, 2023

Co-Alliance Cooperative has donated $4,000 towards Centerville United Methodist Church Food Pantry. This donation makes it possible for the church’s Outreach Team to continue to provide healthy, nutritious food items to the people in the Centerville area that need it so badly.

This is the fourth time that has invested in the Centerville United Methodist Church Food Pantry, and the $4,000 amount from the cooperative is the greatest single donation in the program’s history.

“Since we began our Food Ministry in September of 2017, we have distributed over 265,070 pounds of food to an average of 75 family units per month. This translates into roughly 250 individuals each month receiving fresh, healthy, nutritional food,” said Kevin Smith, Chair Centerville United Methodist Church Outreach Team. “As we are all aware, food costs have taken a huge jump in the past year. The $4,000.00 contribution is helping us make Centerville United Methodist Church an 'oasis' in the midst of the Centerville area 'food desert.'"

The USDA defines a food dessert as regions of the country that feature large proportions of households with low incomes, inadequate access to transportation, and a limited number of food retailers providing fresh produce and healthy groceries for affordable prices.

The east central Indiana donation is part of Co-Alliance’s cooperative-wide initiative to promote and invest in food security throughout the trade territory in 2023. The co-op recently concluded an internal employee food security drive, Planting The Seeds For Food Security, that raised $15,480. That commitment from the farmer-owned cooperative is now being tripled, as Co-Alliance is matching every dollar donated by employees and Land O’Lakes will match what Co-Alliance commits through their Member Co-op Match program.

Planting The Seeds For Food Security was developed to invite employees to play a key part in ending hunger in local rural communities. The total money raised to be given back to rural communities through food security donations and the match program is officially $46,440.

Employees were also given the opportunity to elect specifically where those funds are distributed. They could choose churches, community or regional food banks that serve families in their hometowns. It is through this very personal feedback that Co-Alliance is now directing those dollars throughout the spring and summer.

“Our farmer-owned cooperative plays a large role in producing the safest, most abundant food supply in the world. There is no reason why people in our rural communities should go hungry,” said Kevin Still, President & CEO of Co-Alliance Cooperative. “We’ve made it a priority to give back to our rural communities through food security support and this amount invested in Wayne County is an example of that commitment.”

In April, Co-Alliance partnered with Land O’Lakes, Inc. to donate 40,000 pounds of LAND O LAKES® Macaroni & Cheese to Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana through the Land O’Lakes First Run Program. Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana collaborates with 164 partners in Blackford, Delaware, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison, Randolph, and Wabash Counties, and the macaroni & cheese product will be distributed through those partners.

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