ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Monsanto Company has committed $1 million in new support for several collaborative efforts in Ferguson, Missouri, and surrounding communities in North St. Louis County. Over the next two years, Monsanto’s commitment will go to local non-profit agencies to support a variety of immediate and long-term community development initiatives benefitting residents and communities. In addition, Monsanto employees are continuing to volunteer with a number of organizations in the community.
“From educational programs to food drives that make a balanced plate accessible to everyone, Monsanto recognizes that no one company or organization can do it alone and is proud to join hands with others to help strengthen the place we are proud to call home,” said Hugh Grant, chairman and chief executive officer for Monsanto. “The St. Louis region is home to more than 4,000 Monsanto employees and we take seriously our role in helping make our community the very best it can be.”
Monsanto’s funding will go to four local non-profit agencies supporting job development, education and economic vitality in the community, including:
- United Way of Greater St. Louis. The local United Way will receive a donation of $500,000 for its newly established Ferguson Fund. The fund was developed to help people who are affected by unrest in Ferguson by providing a coordinated approach with partner organizations to address community building, mental health needs, basic needs and long-term strategies. Monsanto’s donation to the Ferguson Fund is in addition to its annual support to United Way’s campaign. Last year, Monsanto donated $4.1 million to the United Way of Greater St. Louis to help those in need.
- Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis. Monsanto will expand its longstanding partnership with the Urban League by committing $200,000 to support the launch and implementation of the “Save Our Sons: Workforce Development Initiative.” The new initiative aims to reach young men, between the ages of 21 and 34, in the Ferguson and surrounding North County communities to help them pass General Educational Development (GED) tests, receive workforce training and secure job placement. Beyond this contribution, the company also supports the Urban League’s Head Start program, which offers professional development to teachers and hands-on opportunities for children, including those in North County communities.
- Reinvest North County Fund. The Fund, recently developed by the St. Louis Regional Business Council and North County Inc., will receive $200,000 to provide immediate assistance to area businesses recovering from the loss of products and damage to their stores. The Fund also will support area school districts by providing additional resources as they work to ensure the long-term success of local students.
- Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM). LSEM will receive $100,000 to support its efforts in providing free legal assistance to local residents who are experiencing personal hardships that the recent events in their neighborhood have brought to light. In addition, the Monsanto Fund has long supported LSEM’s Children’s Legal Alliance Program that provides legal services for children with disabilities and homeless children to ensure that their educational needs are met.
“We are grateful to Monsanto for their support of this worthy initiative to help young African American men and others in North St. Louis County find employment,” said Michael P. McMillan, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc. about the “Save Our Sons: Workforce Development Initiative.”
“These organizations have put together a comprehensive set of initiatives to help the greater North County community to rebound,” added Kathy Osborn, executive director of the Regional Business Council. “They will provide immediate assistance at the point of the community’s greatest need.”
Monsanto has a long history of support in the St. Louis community. In 2013, Monsanto and the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the company, donated $9.2 million locally. Additionally, Monsanto employees in the St. Louis region have logged more than 100,000 hours since 2010 volunteering in the community.
“The needs of our area are very real and are not unlike the challenges facing other communities,” said Grant. “Addressing those needs will require continued support for a strong network of local organizations and agencies. We are committed to being part of those efforts.”
About Monsanto Company
Monsanto is committed to bringing a broad range of solutions to help nourish our growing world. We produce seeds for fruits, vegetables and key crops – such as corn, soybeans, and cotton – that help farmers have better harvests while using water and other important resources more efficiently. We work to find sustainable solutions for soil health, help farmers use data to improve farming practices and conserve natural resources, and provide crop protection products to minimize damage from pests and disease. Through programs and partnerships, we collaborate with farmers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, universities and others to help tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. To learn more about Monsanto, our commitments and our more than 20,000 dedicated employees, please visit: discover.monsanto.com and monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter® at twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows® at monsantoblog.com or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.