ST. LOUIS, Sept. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- For the past month, motorists travelling along St. Louis' two major highways have witnessed a feast of lush, leafy collards, kale and chard growing on two "living billboards" featuring the iconic St. Louis Arch standing tall in front of the downtown skyline. The billboards, sponsored by Bayer, have now been harvested and the crops donated today to the St. Louis Area Foodbank.
With a welcoming message of "St. Louis, Let's Grow Together," the billboards represent Bayer's new presence in the St. Louis region following the completion of its acquisition of Monsanto Company. The site of the former sustainable agriculture company is now the headquarters for Bayer's Crop Science division. The billboards, which were located on I-170 north and I-64 east, also represent Bayer's commitment to the metro-St. Louis area through a combination of community spirit, agriculture, art and innovation. Each billboard had its own irrigation system and was maintained by a horticulturist.
"The idea behind these billboards was about a year and a half in the making, and we were so excited to see them go up," said Ray Kerins, Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs for Bayer. "But what we're even more excited about is to see these crops provide many local families access to a variety of freshly grown greens. We're proud to work with the St. Louis Area Foodbank on this effort, and we are especially proud to reiterate to St. Louis the message on these billboards: 'Let's Grow Together."
For many families, access to healthy nutritional meals can become a daily struggle. Feeding America, whose network includes the St. Louis Area Foodbank, estimates in parts of Missouri, one in three children face food insecurity on a regular basis; for adults, that number is one in five.
"Fresh produce is important for a well balanced diet. Unfortunately, such foods can be expensive for income challenged individuals who struggle with food insecurity, and based upon the communities where they reside, access may not be readily available," said Lenora Gooden, Vice President of Product Sourcing for the St. Louis Area Foodbank. "We appreciate Bayer's support of the St. Louis Area Foodbank. This donation of fresh greens and produce will help meet the needs of those we serve throughout the bi-state region."
In addition to the billboard crops, Bayer is supplementing its donation to the foodbank with apples, sweet corn and other vegetables. Also, more than a dozen Bayer employees are volunteering to help unload and sort the donated food.
Today's donation is only the latest chapter in an important legacy in the fight against hunger. Two years ago, the Monsanto Fund, now a philanthropic arm of Bayer, launched a series of food initiatives in St. Louis, Brazil, China, and this past April in northern Kenya, to address malnutrition and food insecurity in young children from birth to age 5.
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2017, the Group employed around 99,800 people and had sales of EUR 35.0 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.4 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.5 billion. For more information, go to www.bayer.us.
St. Louis Area Foodbank
The St. Louis Area Foodbank began its service to the community in 1975. Since that time, the organization has grown to become the bi-state region's largest nonprofit 501c3 food distribution center dedicated to feeding those in need. Through a network of more than 500 partner agencies in 26 counties in Missouri and Illinois, the Foodbank distributes over 43 million pounds of food and personal care items annually. More than 392,000 people in the bi-state region rely on the Foodbank for assistance each year. For more information on the organization and the issue of hunger, please visit www.STLFoodbank.org.
Dan Childs, phone +1 973.437.0809
Daphne Dorsey, phone +1 314.694.6544
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.