(L-R) Seth Hart, CoBank’s Vice President of Electric Distribution, Denny and Karen Gladieux of Operation Food Search and Dan L. Brown, Cuivre River Electric’s General Manager/CEO celebrate the $6,000 “Sharing Success” grant to Operation Food Search. Funds will support “Operation Backpack” and provide nutritious meals to children who may face hunger when they are away from the school lunch program.
Operation Food Search Inc. (OFS), which aims to alleviate hunger by providing food and nutritional education to families, received a $6,000 donation from CoBank and Cuivre River Electric Cooperative (CREC) as part of the bank’s “Sharing Success” program.
The donation, $3,000 from each organization, will be used to support Operation Backpack, which provides nutritious, easy-to-prepare, nonperishable meals to local children who may face hunger when they are away from the school lunch program.
The contribution is part of CoBank’s “Sharing Success” program, which provides $3 million in matching grant funds to benefit cooperatives and charitable groups across the country. The CREC Board of Directors recently approved a $3,000 matching grant for Operation Food Search, Inc. and applied for a CoBank “Sharing Success” grant.
CoBank approved CREC’s grant application last month and matched CREC’s $3,000 contribution.
“Sharing Success is a hallmark of the cooperative business model,” said Robert B. Engel, CoBank’s President and CEO. “Throughout rural America, cooperatives of all sizes are working not only to provide value to their members but to improve the quality of life in their local communities. We’re delighted that Cuivre River Electric Cooperative has taken advantage of the Sharing Success program and that they are using it to support such a worthy cause.”
“We are very appreciative of CoBank’s mission of sharing their success to help improve the quality of life for our members. At Cuivre River we strive daily to follow one of the Cooperative principles and core values of Touchstone Energy, ‘Commitment to our Community’,” said Dan L. Brown, Cuivre River’s General Manager/CEO.
“Operation Backpack is a child-focused initiative of Operation Food Search,” said Karen Gladieux, OFS Community Outreach Director. “Each week, at-risk children selected by school administrators, counselors, nurses and teachers receive a bag filled with two breakfasts, two lunches and two snacks. The bag is discretely placed in the child’s backpack on the last day of school before the weekend or holiday break. This simple bag insures a child does not have to face hunger over the weekend and relieves worry from parents who are facing a difficult time.”
“We are so grateful to partner with CoBank and Cuivre River Electric to help strengthen our community. This generous grant will have a real impact in our community,” said Denny Gladieux, OFS Community Relations Director. “We are currently reaching over 400 children each weekend. Having additional support will mean more children will not have to face the weekend without adequate nutrition. For these children, a bag of food each week will make a difference. For these families it shows that the community cares.”
Operation Food Search was founded 31 years ago to address the increasing problem of hunger in St. Louis. In 2008 a distribution center was opened in O’Fallon to support individuals living in Lincoln, St. Charles and Warren counties. Each month more than two million pounds of food and other basic necessities are distributed free of charge through a network of over 250 food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens in the bi-state region.
Donations are welcome and can be sent to: Operation Food Search, 1435 Hoff Industrial Dr., O’Fallon, MO 63366. Additional information is available by contacting Karen Gladieux at (636) 544-3500 or by visiting www.operationfoodsearch.org.
CoBank, headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, is a $90 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. For additional information visit www.cobank.com.
Cuivre River Electric Cooperative provides electricity to more than 60,000 homes and businesses in Lincoln, Pike, St. Charles and Warren counties. For more information visit www.cuivre.com or call 800-392-3709.