As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Central Washington food banks have been hit hard. CHS employees are trying to help alleviate that pressure. Because of that increased demand on local pantries, CHS is distributing more than $400,000 and 30,858 pounds to those local and regional organizations. It’s all part of the annual CHS Harvest for Hunger campaign.

Employees at the CHS bean plant in Othello and CHS SunBasin Growers in Quincy, worked with farmers, ranchers, community organizations, schools and other CHS locations across the United States to gather funds and food donations during the annual CHS Harvest for Hunger drive March 1-20. Even though community fundraising events were cancelled mid-campaign due to COVID-19 precautions, employees and community members adapted and improvised to finish the campaign and gather donations.

Locally, CHS will distribute $4,227.01 and 13,695 pounds of food to local food shelves and other community organizations. Donations are being distributed to: Community Service of Moses Lake, Pasco Second Harvest and food banks in Royal City, Quincy, Soap Lake, Ephrata, Connell, Toppenish and Othello.

“Now, more than ever, our local food shelves and food pantries are doing essential work, feeding those in our communities who are struggling,” says Chris Guess, general manager, bean plant, CHS. “I am proud to see how the cooperative system came together to support this campaign, even as we faced unexpected challenges to our usual fundraising efforts. “Our farmers and ranchers are feeding the world, and that effort includes feeding those in need in our own communities,” says Tyson Chick, general manager, CHS SunBasin Growers. “I encourage others to consider giving to their local food shelves and pantries as well. Their services are vital to the strength of our rural communities.”

Since 2011, CHS Country Operations, a division of CHS, the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative, has organized the campaign to gather money and food for local and regional food shelves across the country. With this year’s total, the cooperative has now raised more than $6 million and 4.5 million pounds of food in the 10 years since the campaign was first launched.

If you have a story idea for the Washington Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail

More From PNW Ag Network