Cumberland VFD and Atlantic Food Pantry each receive $2,500 Saturday

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 31st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Representatives with the Cumberland Volunteer Fire Department and the Atlantic Food Pantry received ceremonial checks for $2,500 each over the weekend, as part of a seed company’s contest.

Ruth Steffen (Center, pink jacket) hold a ceremonial $2,500 check for the Cumberland VFD. Representatives with the Dept., including Chief Sean South (on the far left), and the Atlantic Food Pantry along with Bob Sloss (Far right) also appear in the picture. (Ric Hanson/photo)

The checks were presented to CFD Fire Chief Sean South and a representative with the Atlantic Food Pantry’s by Bob Sloss, District Sales Manager for Kruger Seeds, a division of the Monsanto Seed Company, during an event held Saturday evening at the Cumberland Fire Department. Sloss said for the past three-years, Monsanto has sponsored a program called “America’s Farmers Grow Communities.” He said it’s the company’s way of giving back to those communities, whose farmers purchase their products.

In years past, according to Sloss, the company has given one award per county to farmers who have entered their names in a contest. No purchase was necessary. The winners choose a non-profit organization of their choice to receive a check for $2,500. This year, awards are being presented to 1,271 counties in 39 states, and there’s a twist to the monetary amounts being donated. He says because Cass County was in a USDA declared disaster area due to the drought of 2012, the donation doubled to $5,000. Ruth Steffen was the winner in Cass County, and she won the right to choose the recipients of the funds.

Ruth selected the Cumberland Fire Department and Atlantic Food Pantry, each of which received checks for $2,500. Steffen says she selected the Cumberland Volunteer Fire Department because she has had to call them several times over the years, and their assistance has been invaluable. CFD Chief Sean South said they would use their funds to help with the purchase of a new grass rig, which is used to fight grass and other small fires. The truck is currently under construction, and should arrive later this Spring.

He said the 2013 Chevrolet will replace a 1979 Ford grass fire fighting truck that has 124,000 miles on it. That vehicle was purchased used, one-year after it came out of the factory, and was owned by a farmer. The department took sealed bids on their used truck Saturday night, during their Pork Chop Supper, which is their biggest fundraiser of the year. They will continue to receive bids until the new unit arrives. The new truck cost $45,000, and will be equipped with some pieces of equipment from the old truck.  South said they already have the necessary funds to purchase the new truck, and the money raised from Saturday’s supper will help to replenish the funds used from Certificates of Deposit (CD’s) to help pay for the new truck. He said donations such as the one from Ruth Steffen and Monsanto, as well as others, are greatly appreciated.

The Atlantic Food Pantry will use their $2,500 donation to buy basic necessities to help families in need.