St. John Lutheran Church Food Pantry and School Backpack program will receive on a $2,500 donation from America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund and directed by local farmer Regina Emshoff of Nueces County.  The donation will help the church continue to operate the Food Pantry and Backpack programs.  The Food Pantry has expanded from 25 or 30 families to 60 in a short time and provides food for mostly the elderly and those who need a hand up due to illness or job loss.  It serves qualifying clients in our community with staple food items, fresh produce, and other food or snack items purchased from the Food Bank of Corpus Christi.  The St John Food Pantry is open the 3rd Wednesday of each month.  In 2015, 142 families which included 476 individuals were served.  Many of these families receive food from the pantry each month and others come only when in need.

The Backpack program is used to combat hunger in our local school systems by providing Ziploc bags of nonperishable, easy to open/prepare foods for select students each Friday afternoon.  The church partners with a local elementary school to provide these backpacks throughout the school year.  Thirty children are being served at this time.  The church’s goal is to increase the number to forty in the next school year.

The hard work that the volunteers at St John do every month to provide this food and the grateful appreciation of the people who receive it plus the love for all children and their welfare inspired Mrs. Emshoff to designate this donation for this purpose.  The Food Bank of Corpus Christi provides food at a reduced cost but we must still purchase it and there is such a need.

For six years, America’s Farmers Grow Communities has collaborated with farmers to donate over $22 million to more than 8,000 community organizations across rural America. Winning farmers will direct donations to nonprofits to help fight rural hunger, purchase life saving fire and EMS equipment, support agriculture youth leadership programs, buy much needed classroom resources, and so much more.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities partners with farmers to support local nonprofit causes that positively impact farming communities across rural America. Grow Communities is one program in the America’s Farmers community outreach effort, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. Other programs include America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders, which encourages rural youth to remain in agriculture and provides $1,500 college scholarships to high school and college students pursuing Ag-related degrees and America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, which works with farmers to nominate rural school districts to compete for $10,000 and $25,000 math and science grants. Visit www.AmericasFarmers.com to learn more.