Kansas cooperatives have a special commitment to helping their members and their communities adapt to the times, according to Art Duerksen, CEO of Farmway Coop, Inc. That's because cooperatives, unlike many businesses, are locally owned and operated. And that's why cooperatives throughout the nation will be taking time during the month of October to promote a better understanding of this unique form of business, he said.
Duerksen added that this year's October Coop Month theme, provided by the Kansas Cooperative Council, is "Cooperatives - Pounding Out Hunger."
In days gone by, communities would welcome new residents or shower newlyweds with a "pounding." Staple products were sold in bulk, often by the pound, and families in the area would bring a pound of this or a pound of that to help stock the pantry of their friends. "We want to capture that same sense of community and help 'pound out hunger' in our own home towns," said Leslie Kaufman with the Kansas Cooperative Council.
Farmway invites every producer-member and community member to join Farmway employees in donating items for the area Food Pantries throughout the month of October. Food Pantry donations can be dropped off at any Farmway location and will be delivered to the respective food pantry locations.
"Cooperatives conduct activities and outreach all year long, but Farmway looks for special ways to demonstrate the value of cooperatives during Coop Month," said Mallory Wittstruck, Farmway Communications Director. "The value of a cooperative is that we are truly committed to serving our owners and our communities we call home. And what better way to do that than host a food pantry drive to serve others."
According to the Kansas Food Bank, food insecurity in Kansas is 15.1 percent. Food insecurity refers to lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited availability of nutritionally adequate food. Kansas also has the seventh highest percentage of residents who are either cutting back on the quantity and quality of food, or skipping meals entirely.
"There is a true need to help our area food pantries stock supplies for the hungry," said Wittstruck. "Please consider participating in donating items and helping your Farmway location raise the most goods."
Farmway is a cooperative committed to Helping Our Owners Succeed for more than 100 years. Whether it is helping to provide quality products and excellent service to improve the livelihood of our produces or using our resources to support communities across Kansas - it is part of Farmway, your "Partner in Growth." For more information on Farmway's products and service or on becoming a member, visit www.farmwaycoop.com or call 785-738-2241.
Food Pantry Items Needed:
- Soda crackers
- Muffin mix
- Pancake mix
- Canned meats
- Canned pasta
- Dry pasta
- Hamburger helper
- Ramen noodles
- Pasta sauce
- Canned tomatoes
- Green beans
- Laundry soap
- Bar soap
- Toilet tissue paper
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