By Tim Leeds
General Mills has announced new opportunities to participate in the GRAIN project to donate to victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Al Sternberg, Havre-Gildford General Mills manager, said the Havre elevator will sell grain to people and businesses who can then donate it to the Give Relief to Americans in Need fund-raiser.
The GRAIN project was started by Havre-area producers to help victims of the attacks. Several businesses have purchased grain or shown interest in doing so, Sternberg said. In the project, people can donate spring wheat to be sold, with the proceeds going to the Kiwanis International 911 Victims Children's Fund. The Kiwanis fund is geared toward helping the children of the attack's victims.
Sternberg said grain donations have started coming in to the Havre General Mills elevator, and he expects many more donations this week.
General Mills is donating the administration and storage prices for grain donated to the effort. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway is donating part of the shipping cost.
GRAIN organizers said the expected price for spring wheat will be about $3 a bushel, but the help from BNSF could push the value to more than $4 a bushel.
The main collection point for GRAIN is the Wolf Point General Mills elevator. The space in the Havre elevator is for people who aren't donating a large amount, and don't want to have to ship it to Wolf Point. Terry Johnson, a GRAIN project organizer, said people have volunteered to help with shipping the grain stored in Havre to Wolf Point, and the Hill County Tavern Association is providing fuel vouchers for people doing the shipping.
Wednesday and Thursday are the days that all donated grain from around the state will be delivered to the Wolf Point elevator.
Dan Borba, director of administration for the Kiwanis International Foundation, said the needs of the children affected by the attacks are great and will continue for some time. Kiwanis estimates that 15,000 children are in need because of the attacks, and some children of people killed in the attacks are yet to be born. The needs of those children will continue for years, as they grow up and go to school, Borba added.
Donations to the Kiwanis 911 fund are tax-deductible, said representatives of the Montana Department of Agriculture. The Department of Agriculture is helping to promote the project.
Donations can be sent directly to the Kiwanis 911 fund at: Kiwanis International Foundation, 911 Victims Children's Fund, 3636 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268-3196.
For more information about GRAIN, contact Terry Johnson at (406) 398-5335, voice or fax, or (406) 262-4809, cell phone.