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Cenex® brand awards Hometown Pride grant to support human services for rural residents

Through its wide range of programs and services, REACH has provided support to hundreds of residents, including over 37,000 pounds of food.
Jun 1, 2023

Rural Enrichment and Counseling Headquarters (REACH®) Inc., a nonprofit based in Perley, Minn., has been selected as the next recipient of a $25,000 Hometown Pride grant, presented by the Cenex® brand and Perley Community Co-op.

The organization was nominated by Perley Community Co-op for its countless contributions to the Perley and Hawley communities and the surrounding areas through its core programs designed to assist seniors, help locals find employment, secure access to counseling and combat food insecurity.

Founded in 1991 as an organization focused on providing mental health resources, REACH has evolved to grow and meet the changing needs of the communities it set out to serve — from access to interview attire to transportation services and movement classes to keep aging neighbors connected.

“REACH’s main goal is to serve each and every individual in our area, making sure no person is left behind,” says Peggy Chisholm, executive director of REACH. “Over the past few years, we have made it a priority to expand the services we offer to meet the needs of our neighbors. With this grant, we know we can strengthen our impact, develop more personal connections and continue to provide the resources to the people who need them most.”

With the nearest food shelf and mental health resources located 25 miles from the Perley community and 67 percent of Perley residents lacking access to a running vehicle, REACH works to address residents’ most critical needs.

To date, the organization has provided services to more than 600 individuals in 191 households, dispersed over 37,000 pounds of food, supplied warm winter gear to nearly 200 local children and donated school supplies to more than 100 students.

“We cannot even begin to express how much REACH has done for our community and how appreciative we are for all of their efforts,” says Sarah Ramsey, office manager of Perley Community Co-op. “For over 20 years, they’ve always put people first, and as recipients of the Hometown Pride grant, we know they will continue to make Perley even better for the residents.”

As a Hometown Pride grant recipient, REACH will amplify its backpack program, a supplemental food initiative that provides food for children to take home over the weekend. Having supplied over 60,000 bags to over 200 children, REACH aims to make this program accessible to every child in need within Perley and surrounding towns.

To date, Cenex has invested over $475,000 into local organizations across its footprint since the Hometown Pride grant initiative was founded in 2019. Each grant is $25,000 and allows Cenex to uplift philanthropic initiatives in local communities.

“The Cenex brand takes pride in the opportunity to support its local communities,” says Sarah Haugen, marketing communications director at CHS. “By supporting organizations like REACH, we can continue to uphold our company mission by highlighting the importance of fostering community connection within the small towns we serve.”

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