Five Volunteer Fire Departments Receive $5,000 Thanks to Partnership Between Nutella® and the NVFC

$25,000 in grants and 100 pancake breakfast kits donated through the Nutella® “Stacks for Giving Back” program

Volunteer first responders are there when their community needs them – whatever the emergency. However, they often face significant obstacles as departments struggle to keep up with the rising costs of equipment and increasing call volume. To help volunteer fire departments secure some of the necessities they need to best serve their communities, Nutella® partnered with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to award $25,000 in fire department grants through the brands’ Stacks for Giving Back program.

To be eligible to apply for a grant, departments had to be over 50% volunteer, serve a population of 25,000 or less, be located in the U.S., and the individual applying or department chief had to be a member of the NVFC. In addition to these monetary grants, members of the public could nominate their local fire department to receive a pancake breakfast kit from Nutella® to help them host their next fundraising event. 100 departments were selected to receive a kit, which included the supplies and ingredients to hold a pancake breakfast fundraiser in their community.

“We appreciate the partnership with Nutella to support our nation’s volunteer fire departments,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “Volunteers give their time and risk their safety to help their neighbors in need. Through the Nutella® Stacks for Giving Back program, volunteer fire departments – especially those in small towns and rural areas – can secure the funding they need to increase the safety, readiness, and effectiveness of those who serve.”

The five volunteer fire departments that were selected to receive a $5,000 grant through the Nutella® Stacks for Giving Back program are: Elliott Volunteer Fire Department (Grenada, MS); Galesburg (KS) Fire Department; Poole Community Fire & Rescue (Sebree, KY); Rice (TX) Volunteer Fire Department; and York Volunteer Fire Department (Helena, MT). Learn about each recipient below.

Elliott Volunteer Fire Department
Located in north central Mississippi, Elliott Volunteer Fire Department (EVFD) is run by 24 volunteer responders. The department not only serves 2,500 residents, but also hundreds of employees who report to work every day at one of the three nearby manufacturing plants. Other large facilities, including a military training facility, are also included in its coverage area.

The department receives funding solely from county tax proceeds – which are divided among five local fire departments. EVFD has only just enough to cover basic purchases each year, leaving little to no funds for additional equipment purchases. With the $5,000 grant, the department will obtain a new positive pressure ventilation fan to increase firefighter safety. According to EVFD board member Chase Lancaster, the fan will “greatly [reduce] the risks of our firefighters coming into contact with or breathing toxic carcinogens put off by a structure fire.”

Galesburg Fire Department
Galesburg Fire Department, which is entirely volunteer, prides itself on the motto, “Serving our neighbors, because we care.” The department is responsible for more than 870 residents and 94 square miles in and around the city of Galesburg, Kansas. They also have a mutual aid agreement consisting of an additional 500 square miles and 3,500 residents.

Despite having extremely limited funds, the department has been working hard to update its equipment. The $5,000 grant will help replace its fire hoses – some of which are over 50 years old. “There is a real possibility of hose failure during firefighting activities,” said Chief John Lilburn. “This [grant] will allow us to more safely combat fires in our community.”

Poole Community Fire & Rescue
The response area of Poole Community Fire & Rescue (Sebree, KY) consists of wildland, agricultural land, and hazmat operation sites – including a pipeline pump station and a natural gas storage field. All 22 of the department’s volunteers are dedicated to preventing fire and injury in their community of 600 residents. They provide fire and life safety training to farmers and conduct fire prevention inspections at all of the facilities in their purview.

The hazardous materials in their community present dangerous risks that have already taken the life of one civilian and severely injured another. Despite the high level of danger, the department “does not have the equipment to properly assess hazards or provide adequate detection for our volunteers or community,” said Chief Brian Reynolds. With the grant, they will be able to purchase much needed hazmat equipment such as gas meters, personal protective equipment, and mitigation devices.

Rice Volunteer Fire Department
Rice (TX) Volunteer Fire Department serves a population of 20,000 within 137 square miles. It consists of 24 volunteer members who respond to structure, grass, and vehicle fires; vehicle accidents; and medical calls. The department has been working hard to improve its training and equipment, but funds are limited as they do not collect taxes. Their basic expenses are covered by two annual fundraisers.

The grant will help them purchase wildland gear and firefighting boots for their members. “Much of the equipment that we have [is] hand-me-downs from other departments,” explained Captain Dale Scott. “This [grant] will greatly help with [the] protection of our members.”

York Volunteer Fire Department
York Volunteer Fire Department is responsible for 200 square miles around Helena, MT, which consist mostly of National Forest lands. They have three stations; however, response times are slow due to their remote, mountainous location and poor road conditions. Despite these challenges, the small all-volunteer department maintains a community-oriented approach, providing fire and wildland education to residents.

Funds are limited, as their tax income is based per structure and the department is almost completely surrounded by forest. Most of their equipment is older and has either been handed down from other departments or is on loan from the state. This grant will allow them to purchase a pump, which will help crews to “quickly refill [the] tender and return to the scene quicker, providing for firefighter safety and resource protection,” explained Captain Robert Martin. With limited manpower, the time the pump will save is of the essence.

About Nutella®
Nutella was born in 1964. The unique hazelnut spread that millions of people around the world love is made with a meticulous selection of high-quality ingredients and an exacting, artisan-inspired production. Today, the popular hazelnut spread is available in around 160 countries worldwide and has expanded to offer delicious snacks filled with creamy Nutella, including Nutella Biscuits, Nutella B-ready, and Nutella & Go.

About Ferrero®
Ferrero began its journey in the small town of Alba in Piedmont, Italy, in 1946. Today, it is one of the world’s largest sweet-packaged food companies, with over 35 iconic brands sold in more than 170 countries. The Ferrero Group brings joy to people around the world with much-loved treats and snacks including Nutella®, Kinder®, Tic Tac®, and Ferrero Rocher®. More than 38,000 employees are passionate about helping people celebrate life’s special moments. The Ferrero Group’s family culture, now in its third generation, is based on dedication to quality and excellence, heritage and a commitment to the planet and communities in which we operate.

Ferrero entered the North American market in 1969 and has grown to more than 5,100 employees in 15 plants and warehouses, and eight offices in North America across the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. It has expanded its presence and portfolio with the addition of iconic brands such as Butterfinger®, CRUNCH®, Keebler®, Famous Amos®, Mother’s Cookies®, and other distinctive cookie and chocolate brands. Follow @FerreroNACorp on Twitter and Instagram.

About the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC)
The NVFC is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides critical resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at