The Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Board of Directors recently approved participation in CoBank’s “Sharing Success” program, a $3 million charitable fund designed to benefit cooperatives and the charitable groups they support throughout rural America. CoBank is a nonprofit, cooperative bank that PIE&G uses and is a member of. Under the program, CoBank matches contributions by its cooperative members to the charitable organizations of their choice, on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to $5,000. CoBank requires that the charitable organization is established as a nonprofit under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Service code.

Because it provides services directly to many of its members and meets CoBank’s program requirements, the PIE&G board selected St. Thomas Food Pantry (Cheboygan) in its application for matching funds from CoBank’s 2016 Sharing Success program. CoBank approved the matching $5,000 contribution.

“Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op values our partnership with the communities we serve. Our corporate mission includes improving the quality of life for our members through the use of a cooperative business model. This contribution to St. Thomas Food Pantry is a perfect example of how PIE&G fulfills its mission,” Burns said. “In this case, we’ve been able to leverage our relationship with CoBank – a business partner from another part of the country – to increase the power of our local giving to provide services our members desperately need. I’m grateful for that.”

According to Lowell and Jean Beethem, Co-Chairs on the St. Thomas Food Pantry Board of Directors, “This funding will allow us to purchase locally, items that are not available from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. We can now have a greater variety of goods on hand while promoting the economy in our community too.” The Pantry has been serving the community since 1991 and is currently supported by over one-hundred volunteers.