As Ferguson tries to heal the racial fractures that divided the community in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting, one DiversityInc Top 50 company is doing its part to help the area’s residents.
St. Louisbased Monsanto, No. 46 in the DiversityInc Top 50, announced that it will donate $1 million over the next two years to four nonprofit agencies to support community-development initiatives in North St. Louis County.
“The St. Louis region is home to more than 4,000 Monsanto employees,” said Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant, “and we take seriously our role in helping make our community the very best it can be.”
Half of the money will go to the United Way of Greater St. Louis’ Ferguson Fund, which was established to help address community building, mental-health needs, basic needs and long-term strategies. This $500,000 is in addition to Monsanto’s regular support of the United Way, which totaled $4.1 million last year.
The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis will receive $200,000 to support the launch and implementation of a new workforce-development initiative aimed at young men called Save Our Sons. The program will help men ages 2134 to pass the GED test, receive workforce training and secure job placement.
The Reinvest North County Fund, established by the St. Louis Regional Business Council and North County Inc., will receive $200,000 to provide immediate assistance to area businesses to help them recover from the loss of products and damage to their stores.
Legal Services of Eastern Missouri will receive $100,000 to provide free legal assistance to area residents experiencing personal hardships resulting from recent events.
“The needs of our area are very real and are not unlike the challenges facing other communities,” said Grant. “Addressing those needs will require continued support for a strong network of local organizations and agencies. We are committed to being part of those efforts.”
In 2013, the Monsanto Fund, Monsanto’s philanthropic arm, donated $9.2 million locally, and employees in the region have logged more than 100,000 volunteer hours since 2010.
Monsanto becomes the third St. Louisarea corporation to announce support for Ferguson, following manufacturing and technology company Emerson, which is headquartered in Ferguson, and managed-care company Centene.