The Community Services of Starke County Food Pantry will be able to assist even more families in need, thanks to a timely contribution. Ed and Deb Troike were selected as the Starke County winners in the Monsanto Foundation’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities program. As the winners, they chose the organization to receive a $2,500 donation from America’s Farmers Grow Communities and the Monsanto Fund.
“We do know the needs of Starke County and feel this is as worthy an organization as we could ask for. So when our name was drawn the first thing I thought of was sending money right here,” Ed Troike said during a brief check presentation ceremony Thursday morning.
Community Services of Starke County Executive Director Joan Haugh had originally planned to use the donation to buy items for the food pantry but says a more urgent need has arisen.
“In the recent week or so we realized we need another freezer. Those cost about $3,800 to buy big freezers. We’ve tried to find a couple used ones unsuccessfully. So I asked Ed and Deb if they would mind if we put that money toward getting a new freezer. I tried to get a grant through USDA, and they want us to revise our bylaws and all that. Anyway, he said we could use that money toward that.”
Haugh adds the freezer will provide a lasting benefit to the food pantry.
“It will enable us to receive more product and keep it on site rather than passing it up. If we don’t take it, we lose it. We served 274 families last month, and they can certainly use any food that we get our hands on.”
Officials from Monsanto and the Starke County Co-Op were also on hand for the check presentation.