Coop Service, Inc. and Cenex® Partner to Award $25,000 Hometown Pride Grant
International Falls, Minn., Nov. 17, 2022 — Coop Service, Inc. and Cenex®, the energy
brand of CHS, have awarded a $25,000 Hometown Pride grant to the Backus
Community Café. Backus Community Café was nominated by Coop Service for its
dedication to providing an accessible solution to local food insecurity while bringing
neighbors together and strengthening community connections.
“Being rewarded this grant means so much to our small community,” says Lois Lundin,
executive director of Backus Community Center. “It brings us so much joy to be able to
serve our community, especially having the ability to provide basic necessities to those
who need it most.”
Located within Backus Community Center, Backus Community Café began in 2012 with
a small kitchen staff that prepared free meals twice each week alongside numerous
local volunteers that helped serve the meals prepared. Between 2019 and 2021, the
café has increased the number of meals provided from 4,689 to well over 25,200 to
meet the demand of the community’s rising poverty rate and increased food insecurity
as a result of COVID-19. Today, the Backus Community Café remains committed to its
community as it continues to provide hot, nutritious meals to those in need. Through
countless volunteers, a summer food service program for children and by creating a
space for elderly residents to gather and socialize, the Backus Community Café serves
not only to provide essentials but also as a place for community connection.
Through its mission to reduce hunger and serve neighbors in need, the Backus
Community Café works hard to foster community connection within the northern
Minnesota region. With the help of the Hometown Pride grant, the café’s impact will only
be strengthened. The Backus Community Café plans to use the grant to fund
approximately 6,000 additional meals for its community members.
“Within the past year, the Backus Community Café has become a huge rock in the
community as it helps address such a great need in International Falls by providing an
average of over 300 meals per week,” says Steve Crosby, lubricants manager of Coop
Service. “We are grateful that, through [our partnership with] Cenex, we have the
opportunity to further the impact of Backus Community Café, ultimately getting our
community the resources they desperately need.”
Heading into 2023, Cenex will have invested over $400,000 into local organizations
across its footprint since the Hometown Pride grant program began in 2019. Cenex stores are locally owned and operated, and the Hometown Pride grant enables them to
give back to organizations within their communities that make an impact.
“The Cenex brand is extremely honored to play a part in supporting the local
communities where we do business,” says Sarah Haugen, marketing communications
director at CHS. “With the Hometown Pride grant and through our network of dealers,
retailers and distributors, we are able to see true meaning of community while helping
organizations best serve their neighborhoods.”
If you’d like to learn more about the ways Cenex gives back to local communities, follow
us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, or visit www.Cenex.com/local-giving.
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.