Mt. Sterling, Ill. - Dot Foods, one of the area's largest employers, recently awarded a grant to the Pleasant Hill Backpack Program worth $4000. Half of the award is a cash donation and the other half is in Dot Country Store credit for the purchase of food for the program.

"This program does a great service in its area," said Pat Stendback, Dot Charitable Committee member. "We're proud to help make things just a little bit easier for the Backpack Program in their battle against hunger."

The Backpack Program provides weekend meals for students to take home to their families during the school year with the intent of supplementing meals between school-provided lunches. Around 45 percent of students participate in the reduced or free meals program in Pleasant Hill. With the recent drought impacting Pike County agriculture, the program expects to see an influx of participants in the upcoming school year.

"We cannot express enough how grateful we are to Dot Foods," said Tracey Harrison, Backpack Program organizer. "With this year's crop loss, I believe we will be serving even more children, including farmers, and this will go a long way."

Sacks of food are handed out every Friday at Pleasant Hill Elementary School. The program anticipates around 110 students to be signed up by the time the school year starts. The Dot Country Store credit may be used for the purchase of food items at the Dot Country Store in Mt. Sterling, Ill.

About the Pleasant Hill Backpack Program

The Pleasant Hill Elementary Backpack Program is intended to provide meals to students who don't get enough food at home. The program relies upon the donations of churches, food pantries and local business to make sure that Pleasant Hill Elementary students are well fed. The program has grown from serving 20 students to now helping in excess of 100.

About Dot Foods

Dot Foods and Dot Transportation continue to experience exceptional growth and are hiring in record numbers. Both companies are looking to fill several positions for full and part-time drivers and warehouse personnel in all eight locations. To learn more about careers at Dot Foods, visit www.dotfoods.com/careers and follow @DotFoodsCareers on Twitter.

Dot Foods Inc. carries 105,000 products from 600 food industry manufacturers and is the largest food redistributor in the United States. Dot Foods distributes foodservice, convenience, retail and vending food products to distributors in all 50 states. Dot Foods operates eight distribution centers in: Modesto, Calif.; Vidalia, Ga.; Burley, Idaho; Mt. Sterling, Ill.; Cambridge City, Ind.; Williamsport, Md.; Liverpool, N.Y.; and Ardmore, Okla. For information, visit www.dotfoods.com.