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Monogram presents grants to local organizations

ALYSON BUSCHENA/DAILY GLOBE Representatives from the Southwestern Minnesota Opportunity Council Head Start, Calvary Chapel for the Morales Family Fund, Edgerton Vacation Bible School and the Murray County Early Childhood Initiative received grants Wednesday from the Monogram Loves Kids Foundation.

CHANDLER — The Monogram Loves Kids Foundation, founded by Monogram Food Solutions LLC, awarded four grants Wednesday totalling $20,000 to organizations within the Chandler area.

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Recipients of the grants were chosen by the Chandler plant’s communications committee members. A check for $10,000 was presented to Southwestern Minnesota Opportunity Council (SMOC) Head Start, Worthington. A $5,000 check was presented to the Calvary Chapel for the Morales Family Fund, Sioux Falls, S.D., and $2,500 checks were presented to the Edgerton Vacation Bible School and Murray County Early Childhood Initiative.

This is the first year that the grant was offered in all of the Monogram Food Solutions plant locations.

“Not only are we doing this here, but we’re doing this at each of our plants,” said Corey Kruse, plant manager of the Chandler location.

Lori Gunnink, SMOC Head Start Director, said the funds will allow SMOC to expand the services it offers at its 10th Street location in Worthington.

“We need to do some renovation to use it as a classroom,” Gunnink said of the building.

Currently, the number of students in the program is limited by space availability.

“For example, the early learning scholarships that the Minnesota government put out there, I could only apply for 12 because I only have the space for 12,” Gunnink said. “This project would allow me to provide more services to more families.”

Gunnink is seeking additional funds for the project and said SMOC would welcome anyone in the community interested in helping with the project.

The grant money given locally was raised through Monogram Food Solutions.

“We’re very proud of the Monogram Love Kids foundation,” Kruse said. “It was actually founded in 2010 by our corporate leadership in Memphis, Tenn. That’s where it started and it targets children — children in need and their families.”

The Monogram Loves Kids Foundation was established to raise funds for children’s charities in the communities where Monogram Food Solutions employees live and work. In the past, Monogram Loves Kids Foundation has made donations to organizations such as The Down Syndrome Association, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Boy Scouts of America, Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Ronald McDonald House and many more.

According to its mission statement, Monogram Food Solutions and its shareholders, team members and vendors believe in sharing their resources and reinvesting in the communities where they live and work. Through the foundation, they strive to support organizations that focus on community needs and issues centered on children and their families.

Founded in 2004, Monogram Food Solutions manufactures and distributes value-added processed meat snacks and ranks as one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of private label corn dogs with more than 1,200 employees in four states. Company-owned brands include Trail’s Best, Wild Bill’s, Bull’s, Hannah’s, O’Brien’s and Pete’s Pride, among others.

Daily Globe Reporter

Alyson Buschena may be reached at 376-7322.

Alyson Buschena
Alyson joined the Daily Globe newsroom staff after spending a year in Latin America. A native of Fulda and graduate of the University of Northwestern, she has a bachelor's degree in English with a dual concentration in Literature and Writing and a minor in Spanish. At the Daily Globe, Alyson covers the crime beat as well as Pipestone and Murray counties, community news and feature stories. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and cooking. More of Alyson's writing can be found at
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