(Perley, MN) — June 1, 2023 — Cenex®, the energy brand of CHS, and Perley Community Co-op have awarded Rural Enrichment And Counseling Headquarters (REACH®) Inc. with a $25,000 Hometown Pride grant. REACH was nominated by Perley Community Co-op for its countless contributions to the Perley community and surrounding areas through the organization’s programs designed to assist seniors, help locals find employment, and combat food insecurity with its food pantries and school backpack programs.
“REACH’s main goal is to serve each and every individual in our area, making sure no person is left behind,” says Peggy Chisholm, executive director of REACH. “Over the past few years, we have made it a priority to expand the services we offer and meet the needs of our neighbors. With this grant, we know we can strengthen our impact, develop more personal connections and continue to provide the resources to the people who need them most.”
Founded in 1991, REACH began as an organization focused on providing mental health resources. Over the years, REACH has grown to meet the ever-changing needs of the community. In addition to providing adults with interview attire and regularly stocking food pantries, REACH also caters to its elderly community, offering transportation services and movement classes to help aging neighbors remain independent and connected to their community.
REACH has also fostered a culture of innovation, working consistently to improve and sustain the critical services needed most as the community evolves. With the nearest food shelf and mental health resources located 25 miles from the Perley community and 67 percent of Perley residents lacking access to a running vehicle, REACH works to address these needs in many ways, including:
- Providing services to over 600 individuals in 191 households through backpack programs, winter gear drives, holiday meal events, food pantries and more.
- Dispersing over 37,000 pounds of food through its food pantries.
- Gifting over 213 children with Christmas presents.
- Providing 178 children with warm winter gear.
- Donating school supplies to 127 students.
“We cannot even begin to express how much REACH has done for our community and how appreciative we are for all of their efforts,” says Sarah Ramsey, office manager of Perley Community Co-op. “For over 20 years they’ve always put people first, and as recipients of the Hometown Pride grant, we know they will continue to make Perley even better for the residents.”
As recipients of the Hometown Pride grant, REACH plans to amplify its backpack program, a supplemental food initiative that provides food items for children to take home over the weekend. Having supplied over 60,000 bags to over 200 children, REACH aims to make this program accessible to every child in need within Perley and surrounding towns.
With continuous investments back into local organizations through its Hometown Pride grant program, the Cenex brand continues to show its commitment to rural neighborhoods. By the end of 2023, Cenex will have donated over $500,000 to local organizations across 15 states since the program’s inception in 2019. Through this initiative, Cenex and its network of locally owned and operated stores keep neighbors supported and connected, preserving the bonds that make these communities special.
“The Cenex brand takes pride in the opportunity to support its local communities,” says Sarah Haugen, marketing communications director at CHS. “By supporting organizations like REACH, we can continue to uphold our company mission by highlighting the importance of fostering community connection within the small towns we serve.”
Cenex (www.cenex.com), the energy brand of CHS, provides high-quality refined fuels through nearly 1,400-plus locally-owned convenience store locations across 19 states. Consumers depend on Cenex fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products to power homes, businesses and communities. CHS Inc. (www.chsinc.com), which owns the Cenex brand, is a leading global agribusiness owned by American farmers across the United States with domestic and international operations including energy, agronomy, grain trading and food processing.