Benton REA donates $15K to local food banks

Volunteers from Jubilee Ministries Food Bank in Prosser accept a check for $3,000 from Benton REA Board President Connie Krull.

PROSSER — Fifteen thousand dollars is helping feed local families thanks to Benton REA and matching funds from CoBank, one of the utility’s lenders.

Benton REA received a $7,500 matching grant from the CoBank Sharing Success program. Together, the $15,000 donation will help families through three organizations within the Benton REA member service area.

Nine thousand dollars went to the Tri-City Food Bank serving West Richland and Benton City, $3,000 to Jubilee Ministries’ Food Bank in Prosser and $3,000 to Sunrise Outreach Center Food Banks serving Mabton and Sunnyside.

CoBank’s Sharing Success program doubles contributions of its consumer-members to the charitable organizations and causes they care about most.

“In 2020, we investigated the specific needs created by COVID-19 and donated this matching grant to our area food banks,” says Benton REA General Manager Mike Bradshaw. “Since the pandemic has had lasting effects on families’ ability to pay their bills, the board of trustees wanted our 2021 matching grant to go to the food banks again.”

Howard Rickard, board president of the Tri-Cities Food Bank says the timing of the donation was good, as extra state and federal benefits are expiring.

Benton REA recognizes that food isn’t the only need for struggling families. Benton REA members with past-due utility bills are encouraged to call 509-786-2913. Benton REA employees can setup payment plans and point members to organizations offering financial assistance for utility payments. The co-op also offers a low-income, senior, or disabled discount and funding through its member-funded Power to Care bill assistance program.

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