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Pioneer bank donates Elmore building

By Staff | Jun 7, 2015

Only weeks after the announcement of Elmore’s Pioneer Bank closing, CEO David Krause has big news for the building.

“When we announced our decision to close this branch a few weeks ago, we knew it was important for the community that we found a useful purpose for the bank building,” says Krause. “I’m glad we were able to find an organization like Jesus Food so this building can help this area and children all over the world.”

Pioneer Bank, one of southern Minnesota’s leading community banks for more than 110 years, with assets of over $380 million, will be donating the Elmore bank branch to the non-profit organization Jesus Food.

Tim Stromer of Good Thunder represents Jesus Food.

“We are excited about receiving this building,” says Stromer. “It will help us establish a permanent presence in southern Minnesota and allow us the space we need to accomplish our mission.

What is the mission exactly? Feeding those in need. But, Stromer mentions that there is a deeper hunger that needs to be satisfied, as well.

“Our mission is to eliminate hunger on two levels those starving physically and those starving spiritually. We want to feed all the hungry children of the world, and we want to feed all the hungry spirits through Christ,” says Stromer.

Stromer was once affiliated with the Kids Against Hunger group, but he said his focus changed over time.

“Kids Against Hunger was founded by a friend of mine. The group hired a new CEO and the CEO wanted to take things in a different direction than what we were looking for, so we refocused,” says Stromer. “We didn’t want to stop feeding kids, and humanitarian efforts are so cool and such a great thing to do, we just wanted to make sure that those also in spiritual need were being fed through the word of God.”

To break it down, Jesus Food packs super nutritious foods for starving children all across the world. The concept is to create a food that, through a one cup serving, can feed a child for an entire day. Based off of Stromer’s statistics, most children in starving countries only get about one cup of food a day.

“With the help of Elmore and the surrounding area, we will be able to produce a single serving of food for only 23 cents; an entire day’s worth of nutrition,” says Stromer.

The meal is dry packaged and assembled by volunteers. Once the food packages are assembled by volunteer groups, Jesus Food will use the bank building to warehouse, pack, and distribute food packages for impoverished children around the world.

What does this mean for the community of Elmore? Stromer hopes it could create a few jobs down the road.

“It depends on how much volunteering we get and how much money we can raise,” says Stromer.

In order for Jesus Food to begin in Elmore, Stromer said enough money must be raised to buy the initial food ingredients, along with seals, scales, and all it takes to pack the food. He estimates that around $10,000 is needed initially.

“Think of it like the Relay for Life,” explains Stromer, “except instead of hoping for a cure, you make the cure. You get to see your dollars and volunteering hard at work as we feed these children.”

Stromer says donations can be made online at www.jesusfood.org or mailed to 711 Main Street, Good Thunder, MN 56037. More information can also be obtained by calling (507) 469-4357.