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Supporting kids and families in our communities

CHS Myrtle Grove (La.) terminal manager David Olson (second from left) and assistant terminal manager Mervin Rapp presented $5,000 to Audrey Trufant-Salvant, district 7 councilwoman and Andrea Decloute, employee, City of Plaquemines Parish, La. The funds will help rebuild a park destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Kindergartners in Illinois are learning how farmers raise corn. A neighborhood park destroyed by hurricanes is being rebuilt. Food shelves are being restocked in Iowa and Minnesota. Homeless people find solace in a new warming shelter. Funding for all these initiatives was provided by local stewardship programs managed by employees of CHS Processing and Food Ingredients (PFI) and CHS Grain Marketing.
“CHS is a committed steward in every community in which it does business, and each PFI location has a budget they can use to support their neighbors in need,” says Tom Malecha, CHS vice president, Processing and Food Ingredients. He says focus areas for the stewardship committees include: food shelves and related hunger relief programs, rural youth education and leadership programs or services, and investments to help build vibrant communities.
Employees at the Annawan, Ill., ethanol plant recently donated $5,000 to the Henry County Farm Bureau Foundation in support of the Ag in the Classroom program. “Over the course of a year, more than 13,000 grade school and preschool students will be actively engaged in learning about agriculture and soil conservation,” says Rick Vondra, CHS plant manager, Annawan.  “It was my honor to visit a classroom and to know that we would help students get a better understanding of how our owners produce abundant, safe and healthy food.”

At Mankato, Minn., the soybean processing plant team is putting $1,000 to good use by supporting a local Boy Scout troop food drive that annually collects more than 43,000 pounds of food. They’ve also previously supported a school backpack program that provides qualifying kids a weekly sack of shelf-stable food items to ensure they have something to eat over the weekend when school meals are not available.
In January, the South Sioux City, Neb., soybean isolate manufacturing plant donated $500 to fund a new community warming shelter, and $6,500 to four food pantries and backpack feeding programs. “In our area, there are six elementary schools that have an extraordinarily high number of students participating in the free- and reduced-price lunch program,” explains Chris Oehler, plant manager. “Food insecurity is a very real problem for many of these families. Chronically-hungry children can’t learn and grow as they should, so CHS funds will have a far-reaching and significant impact.”

Way downriver, children and families are looking forward to new playground equipment and benches in a city park ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Plaquemines Parish, La., was ground zero for the 2005 hurricanes and flooding, which destroyed entire neighborhoods. “Our employees are proud that CHS contributed to the rebuilding of Ironton Community Park,” says Dave Olson, CHS terminal manager, Myrtle Grove, La. “It was heartwarming to think how this project will further enrich the lives of the children and families who suffered such tremendous losses.”

CHS Annawan (Ill.) General Manager Rick Vondra (standing with check), presented $5,000 to Katie Laleman, manager, Henry County (Ill.) Farm Bureau, to support Ag in the Classroom curriculum. Paula Janson (seated), Henry County Ag Literacy coordinator, is surrounded by Annawan, Ill., kindergarteners.