The Farm Bureau’s tradition of giving back continues through the Harvest for All program
Farming and ranching families across the country have donated 36.4 million pounds of food and raised more than $258,000 to help alleviate hunger in 2021 through The Farm’s ‘Harvest for All’ program Office. Together, monetary and food donations totaled the equivalent of 30.5 million meals.
Harvest for All’s donation tracking criteria included dollars and pounds of food donated by state and county agricultural offices, as well as volunteer hours, reported to the base through the annual campaign.
The spirit of farming communities has always been to work together and give back. Now in its 20th year, Harvest for All is led by members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program, but members of all ages from across the country contribute to the effort. Their participation helps ensure that Americans facing food insecurity can enjoy the wealth of produce from farmers and ranchers.
In addition to raising food and funds, farmers and ranchers volunteered 9,405 hours to help local hunger groups in 2021.
“Coping with hunger is a daily reality for people from all walks of life, including many in rural areas and farming communities,” said Alisha Schwertner of Texas, chair of the AFBF’s YF&R committee. “Through Harvest for All, Farm Bureau remains committed to putting food on the tables of those who need it.”
The Florida Farm Bureau took top honors for donating the most food in 2021, 30.5 million pounds. This included member participation in food drives, meal-packing projects, and product donations to food banks. Farmers also participated in the Produce Box program, donating produce left in the fields after harvest to community members in need.
The Illinois Farm Bureau took home top honors for raising the most money in 2021, $162,587. Partnering with county agricultural bureaus, organizing a March Madness Bracket Challenge, and running campaigns with the FFA and collegiate agricultural bureaus were among the strategies used to raise funds.
The Florida Farm Bureau had the most volunteer hours, 4,510. This included 100 volunteers packing more than 50,000 meals for local families as part of the “Farming for Hope” event in partnership with Meals for Hope, and a district project that brought together 85 volunteers to harvest and distribute sweet corn.
Through the generosity of Nationwide, these state agencies received a $500 grant (for each type of contribution) to donate to a local food bank of their choice or to another Harvest for All project.
The second place winners were the New York Farm Bureau for 5.7 million pounds of donated food, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau for $47,154 in donated funds, and the Illinois Farm Bureau for 4,063 volunteer hours.
Each of the second place winners received a $250 grant (for each type of contribution) from Nationwide to donate to the local food bank of their choice.
Most Innovative Winner
Additionally, the Florida Farm Bureau’s YF&R Committee received a $250 grant from Nationwide for the “Most Innovative” program at the “Farming for Hope” event held in partnership with Meals for Hope. The success of this innovative project, which included packing 50,000 meals for local families, is due to the collaboration of many county agricultural offices, YF&R programs and community volunteers.
The awards were presented at the AFBF Young Farmers and Herders Conference 2022, which ended on Monday. Since launching Harvest for All, Farm Bureau families have collected 412 million pounds of food, logged over 224,000 volunteer hours and raised over $10 million in donations.
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