Federal grants for after-school programs are possibly fading away, causing organizations to scramble for funding, but students in La Monte will continue to have a safe place to gather thanks to a large donation from Tyson Foods Inc.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of West Central Missouri announced Tuesday afternoon it has received a $100,000 donation from Tyson to help fund its La Monte site. It was announced at the site, where an average of 60 students are served daily.
“We’re really lucky to be a part of such a wonderful community, No. 1, and anything we can do that helps the folks in our community we want to try to do that,” said Alan Johnston, Sedalia Complex Manager for Tyson. “But specifically when it helps kids and when it helps kids who have parents who work for us, it has a super positive impact on our team members’ lives, and of course everything the Boys & Girls Club stands for; everything they do for this group, particularly for west central Missouri, is certainly worth getting behind.”
The La Monte site, as well as other BGCWCM sites, is heavily funded through federal grants which will expire in 2017 and may not be renewed. The $100,000 donation will begin to be used during the next school year, allowing the site to be open for several more years without concern from where funding will come from next.
“The grant has an impact on the La Monte site, but it also has an impact at all of our Club sites because then we’re able to use funding from other sources to help fund those sites while this one is sustained with the Tyson funds,” said Club Executive Director Jessica Pyle.
While the donation will help Club kids, it will also help the many parents who work at Tyson — 60 percent of the La Monte members have one or more parents who work at the Tyson plant just outside of Sedalia.
“I think really, it’s not hard to read about this situation and with Tyson’s commitment to community, it’s pretty easy to get behind what (the Club’s) mission is,” Johnston said. “And now the kids have somewhere to go, to do their homework, to get a snack.”
“And then their parents aren’t at work worried about their children,” Ben McFarlin, Sedalia Complex HR Manager, added. “They know they’re safe.”
“It’s a win-win-win, for the kids, for their parents and for Tyson,” Johnston added.
The grant application was submitted by Club staff to the Tyson corporate office, which then selected BGCWCM as the grant recipient out of several requests, McFarlin said. The donation is one of the largest the Club has ever received.
“They took time out of their schedule to come visit the site and see firsthand the connection and direct correlation between the members we serve here and the staff at the Tyson plant, so through that they know that their staff have peace of mind of where their children are after school until they’re off work, which makes them more productive and efficient,” said Melissa Boeschen, Club Director of Development. “It’s a win-win.”
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1482 or @NicoleRCooke.