(L to R): Mike Ward, Bank of Hillsboro Senior Vice President; Megan Wood, Bank of Hillsboro Loan Assistant; Tara Pohlman, Goshen Market Foundation Vice President; Jessica DeSpain, Goshen Market Foundation President.

EDWARDSVILLE - Bank of Hillsboro, in partnership with Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, donated $5,000 to the Goshen Market Foundation’s Beet Box to help expand the outreach for the mobile farmer’s market and bring fresh food to more communities.

The Beet Box, which was created by the local nonprofit, Goshen Market Foundation, is committed to bringing affordable, fresh produce to people who might not otherwise have access to it. The mobile food market delivers roughly 1,500 lbs. of produce every year serving Madison and St. Clair counties. It visits neighborhoods, schools and community centers in the region that are currently lacking access to fresh produce as a result of transportation limitations, health issues or food-desert conditions.

Goshen Market Foundation Vice President, Tara Pohlman, said the donation will allow them to add five new stops in Collinsville, Alton and East Alton to their route and will help them pay their mobile market drivers for their time.

“Currently, our mobile market travels about 80 miles each week and supports 3-5 local farmers through the produce we buy from them,” said Pohlman. “This year we decided to introduce a ‘pay what you can’ policy because we know there are a lot of people who can’t afford to pay anything right now but really need the fresh food. Bank of Hillsboro’s donation helps ensure that we can do that while also reaching more people.”

Bank of Hillsboro was able to offer the donation after applying for a $20,000 grant through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. The bank is offering a COVID-19 Relief Program consisting of zero-rate advances and grants to support all of its member institutions, such as Bank of Hillsboro, and the communities they serve.

Bank of Hillsboro Senior Vice President Mike Ward said they decided to apply for the grant and were thrilled when they received it.

“Bank of Hillsboro has been a proud supporter of the Goshen Market Foundation for the last two years through the Land of Goshen Community Market,” said Ward. “Once we found out we had received this grant, we immediately knew we wanted a portion of that money to go to the Goshen Market Foundation because we strongly believe in the efforts they are making to support local farmers and provide fresh food to underserved populations.”

Bank of Hillsboro is a 150-year-old bank committed to supporting local communities and helping customers meet their financial needs. The bank is headquartered in Hillsboro, Illinois and has 11 additional locations in Alhambra, Altamont, Carlyle, Edwardsville, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Keyesport, Pana, Staunton and Vandalia. More information about Bank of Hillsboro can be found at www.bankhillsboro.com or by calling 618-656-5804.

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