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The Monsanto Fund Presents Grant to Operation Food Search

Grant to provide nutrition support to families in rural Missouri communities.

Washington, MO, March 09, 2017 --( The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, recently awarded a grant of more than $16,000 to Operation Food Search (OFS), a hunger relief organization that provides food to the area’s hungry. The grant will be used for the organization’s Operation Backpack program, which will benefit food-insecure children from the School District of Washington, Mo.

The grant will enable OFS to continue directly serving 125 children at risk for weekend hunger by providing 4,000 backpacks filled with a healthy mix of foods and nutrition information throughout the 2017-2018 school year.

Research shows that, compared to metropolitan areas, there are many challenges in rural communities including limited social services; higher concentration of employment in low-wage industries; greater unemployment and underemployment; decreased accessibility to public transportation networks, and; lack of available work-support services such as flexible and affordable child care.

The Monsanto Fund is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto employees live and work. This is the fifth consecutive year the organization has provided a grant for the Operation Backpack program to serve children in the Washington, Mo. school district.

“Operation Backpack does not require additional effort from the receiving family, so this program is particularly effective for the School District of Washington where support services and long distance travel can create barriers for a food-insecure child,” said OFS Executive Director Sunny Schaefer. “Teachers report fewer absences and overall better behavior from students in schools where our backpack program is implemented. That’s because children’s hunger-related issues are alleviated and school staff can completely focus on education.”

“Healthy eating and access to nutritious food not only go a long way in helping children achieve at school, but they are essential elements to a dignified and fulfilling life for those children and their families,” said Michelle Insco, Monsanto Fund program officer. “Operation Food Search has been serving St. Louis and surrounding communities for more than 35 years, and due to both their reach and expertise, I cannot imagine a better or more impactful partner.”

Founded in 1981, Operation Food Search (OFS) is a hunger relief organization that provides food and nutrition education. With a strategic focus aimed at ending childhood hunger, OFS empowers families with a range of programs and services proven to reduce food insecurity and increase access to healthy and affordable food.

OFS helps feed more than 200,000 individuals on a monthly basis – one-third of which are children – through a network of 330 community partners in 31 Missouri and Illinois counties, as well as in the city of St. Louis.

Operation Food Search is located at 1644 Lotsie Blvd. For more information, call (314) 726-5355.
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Operation Food Search
Rochelle Brandvein

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