Wanatah, IN…… In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the hardships that it is causing for families, children, and seniors, Kankakee Valley REMC’s Operation Round Up Trust organization recently made donations to area food pantries totaling $20,000. During this unprecedented time, the donation to each pantry will allow them to continue the fight against hunger in their community.  With schools closed and lives disrupted due to the loss of jobs, food pantries are seeing a spike in demand by area residents in need. During this critical time, local food pantries are the lifeline for so many families when it comes to having ample food.  “Food pantries have been applying to the Operation Round Up Trust organization for grants for many years. With COVID-19, the board of directors recognized the effect that this pandemic would have on families and made the decision to provide emergency funding,” stated Amanda Steeb, director of marketing & communications for Kankakee Valley REMC. The food pantries selected for emergency funding were organizations that had previously applied and received grants in the past from Operation Round Up Trust. Each food pantry received $2,000 to be used to purchase food to restock their pantry shelves.  Operation Round Up Trust is a community grant program that is funded by Kankakee Valley REMC member-consumers. Participating member-consumers voluntarily allow their monthly electric bills to be rounded up to the next dollar. Their donations, which average $6 per year, are combined with those of other member-consumers. A volunteer board of directors review and award grants to organizations in the communities served by Kankakee Valley REMC.  Sharing the same values as Kankakee Valley REMC, Operation Round Up Trust puts into practice the value of Commitment to Community. To date, the organization has given back over one million dollars to non-profit organizations.  “During these times, it is important that we all come together to meet the needs of our communities. The phrase, ‘we are in this together’ resonates stronger than ever nowadays. While our local food pantries are meeting the needs of families, children, and seniors, the Operation Round Up Trust organization is committed to helping them continue to meet theirs,” stated Steeb.  The Operation Round Up Trust board of directors meets quarterly to review applications. For information on how an organization can apply for funding, visit kvremc.com or call 800-552-2622.  Kankakee Valley REMC, located in Wanatah, IN, is a member-owned rural electric cooperative serving approximately 18,000 member-consumers throughout Starke, Pulaski, Porter, Lake, Marshall, St. Joseph, and LaPorte Counties. For more information, visit www.kvremc.com (http://www.kvremc.com).