“Young farmers and ranchers are committed to giving back to their local communities, and the Harvest for All program gives us an outlet to do just that. While we spend long hours growing our crops and livestock to feed consumers, this program allows us to serve those less fortunate.”
According to LaCross, growth in this program is proof that Young Farmers and Ranchers around the nation are committed to the cause. The program’s success also hinges on a solid partnership with Feeding America, he said.
“Feeding America is deeply appreciative of all the help and support we have received from the Farm Bureau’s Harvest for All program,” said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. “It has provided us with food and funds for many years, and has helped us to feed many people living on the verge of hunger.”
The Illinois Farm Bureau took top honors for raising the most funds in 2010 at $137,087. The California Farm Bureau was number one in both food donated at 10.146 million pounds and volunteer time at 6,170 volunteer hours. Each YF&R Committee from the three winning states received a $1,500 grant from the American Farm Bureau Federation to donate to the food bank of their choice.
Second place winners were Indiana Farm Bureau for funds donated at $56,170; New York Farm Bureau for food donated at 5.175 million pounds; and Michigan Farm Bureau for volunteer time at 4,071 volunteer hours. Second place winners received a $1,000 grant from AFBF to donate to the food bank of their choice.
In addition, five state YF&R committees received $500 grants for “most innovative” programs. The winners are Illinois for its “Drive Out Hunger” collectible truck series; Indiana for its “County Quilt” auction item at state convention; Louisiana for its “Fleur de Lis” T-shirts; Michigan for its “Ag Expo Food Drive”; and North Dakota for its “Gunny Sack Challenge,” dry bean and lentil bulk-food drive.
The awards were presented this month, during AFBF’s YF&R Conference in Orlando, Fla.
Since Harvest for All was launched eight years ago, Farm Bureau families have gathered more than 38 million pounds of food, logged more than 49,000 volunteer hours and raised more than $1.2 million in donations. Combined, the food and money donations amount to more than 39 million meals.
Source: American Farm Bureau Federation