Monsanto volunteers will help put food on the table this holiday season

The food insecurity rate in rural America is higher than the national average. More than three million rural households don’t always know where their next meal will come from. Monsanto Company is committed to combating hunger in rural America, so this winter, hundreds of Monsanto employees will help raise awareness of food insecurity by participating in the company’s second annual Rural Hunger Volunteer Month.

"Food insecurity is a reality for many people in this country, even for families in the farming communities where much of the world’s food supply is raised," said Brenda Cockrell, Monsanto’s global volunteer program manager. "To get food on the tables of those who need it most, collaboration and willing volunteers are essential. That’s why Monsanto is supporting Rural Hunger Volunteer Month."

Nearly 1,000 Monsanto employees volunteered more than 3,800 hours in 96 communities last year as part of the Rural Hunger Volunteer initiative. This year, employees from 80 locations across the U.S., including Huxley, will again volunteer at local food banks to address the needs of the hungry as winter approaches. Fifteen employees at the Huxley Monsanto site volunteered their time to host, cook and serve dinner at Food at First on Nov. 22. Another 25 employees donated the food to prepare the meal. Food at First is a program that consists of a free meal program and a food pantry with fresh options. The free meal program serves seven meals per week, and is available to anyone who is hungry.

In February 2013, the Huxley Monsanto site held a personal item drive for the Huxley Food Bank. Employees donated shampoo, conditioner, soap and laundry detergent to help increase what the food bank was able to offer.

"The Huxley site is located in a rural area, and we understand that not everyone is as fortunate as we are, so we strive to give back to the community where we live and work," said Kim Schaaf, Huxley Monsanto site lead.

Monsanto is dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers live and work. In addition to Rural Hunger Volunteer Month, the company is involved in several other efforts to fight hunger. Monsanto pledged $3 million to Invest an Acre, a partnership which helps farmers support their local food banks. Other efforts include annual food drives at industry tradeshows, which have raised more than 100,000 pounds of food over four years, as well as donations to rural food banks through the Monsanto Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities program.

More information about Monsanto’s commitment to end rural hunger can be found at www.monsanto.com/fightinghunger.