COLFAX, Ill. — Patrons of a local food pantry are benefiting from collaboration between a McLean County farmer and an agriculture company’s initiative.

Bob Lasser of McLean directed $2,500 to the Colfax Food Pantry through America’s Farmers Grow Communities.

With the donation, the food bank plans to supplement what it receives from the Midwest Food Bank with additional meat, vegetables, paper goods and personal items.

Lasser chose to give to the Colfax Food Pantry, run through the Immanuel Lutheran Church, to give back to his community.

“We go to a church out here in the country — small to medium church — and everybody in that church helps everybody else,” he said.

“My wife does quilting, and they have made 90 quilts to give to the needy (through church). We have people in need. There was a party in town that was handicapped, and some of the men from the church built this lady a ramp and changed her bathroom around to use with a wheelchair.

“It’s just touching. If they can do that, I can do something, too, and I thought of the food pantry.”

Thanks to the support of farmers across the country, more than $3.2 million is being directed to nonprofits in 1,289 counties in 39 states.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities works directly with farmers to support nonprofit organizations doing important work in rural communities.

The program offers farmers the chance to win $2,500, which then is donated to the farmer’s nonprofit of choice.

The search for funding to sustain and enhance programs is a year-round job for nonprofit organizations across the country.

Through America’s Farmers Grow Communities, farmers have been able to support a variety of groups, such as schools, fire departments, community centers and youth organizations such as 4-H and FFA.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities launched in 2010 and has since donated more than $13 million to more than 5,200 nonprofit organizations across the country.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, is part of the America’s Farmers initiative, which highlights and celebrates the important contributions farmers make every day to society.

For a complete list of Grow Communities winners and more program information, visit