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Farmers can help local nonprofits by applying to grant program

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

Farmers now have the opportunity to contribute $3.3 million to organizations in their communities. To honor and support the tradition of service organizations in rural America, the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program is partnering with farmers to direct $2,500 donations to individual nonprofit organizations. The program, which kicked off its fifth year on Aug. 1, benefits 1,324 counties across 40 states. 

Organizations that received funding in the past include fire departments, food pantries, community groups, and youth service programs like FFA and 4-H. In the smaller, rural communities where this program operates, a donation like this can make the difference in dozens of lives. The results include better-equipped volunteer fire departments, food pantries stocked with more fresh produce, improved meeting halls and fair grounds, and opportunities for youth leadership development.

Last spring, the Hiawatha Education Foundation in Kirkland received a $2,500 grant through the application of farmer Allan Aves, and the Maple Park Family Fund received $2,500 through the application of Kane County farmer John Biddle. In 2013, the Malta Fire Department and Malta Township Public Library benefited from Grow Communities grants.

Since its inception in 2010, Grow Communities has invested more than $16 million in 6,000 nonprofit organizations across rural America. In Illinois alone, Grow Communities has provided $1,232,500 to nonprofit organizations over the past five years.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities is part of the America’s Farmers initiative. These programs, supported by the Monsanto Fund, have awarded over $22 million to rural communities since 2010. To enroll or learn more, visit www.AmericasFarmers.com, or call toll-free 877-267-3332.

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