LAURINBURG —More than 100 Scotland County families will benefit from a $2,500 grant to First United Methodist Church’s food bank from America’s Farmers Grow Communities.
Harvey Edge, a Scotland County farmer enrolled in the Monsanto Fund program, was randomly selected last month from 1,300 eligible counties as the winning farmer. Edge selected the Food Bank of First United Methodist as the beneficiary, and presented a check last week to the Rev. Verne Womack.
The food bank serves between 90 and 120 families in its distribution on the third Saturday of each month.
According to Leslie Womack, in March the food bank served about 180 people in 90 households.
“It will probably take care of about two months, because we purchase canned goods, and we also go to the food bank and when they have frozen foods and stuff we purchase that up there,” she said.
The food bank primarily uses monetary donations — about $900 to $1,000 per month — to purchase food and assemble uniform bags of food to distribute every third Saturday.
“We like to put the same thing in every bag and it’s hard to collect 120 of one item,” said Womack. “Generally they try to put canned fruit, canned meat, soup, vegetables, a mac and cheese sort of package and whatever juice they can get reasonably. Each fall traditionally they have a little bit extra so we can purchase turkeys or hams for people for Thanksgiving.”
The food bank has operated for about 12 years, opening its doors monthly for song, prayer, and help with basic needs.
“Some people have come since the beginning almost every month, some are new, some come randomly it just depends,” said Womack.
The First United Methodist food bank is located at 101 W. Church Street in Laurinburg and open to county residents with a valid identification.
Since 2010, America’s Farmers Grow Communities has collaborated with farmers across to donate more than $22 million to about 8,000 community organizations across rural America.
Winning farmers direct donations to nonprofits to help fight rural hunger, support agricultural youth leadership programs, buy much needed classroom resources and much more.
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.