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February 11, 2013

Record Donations Collected for Harvest for All Program

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

Twenty-eight million meals were served in 2012 thanks to Farm Bureau families across the country who donated a record breaking amount of food, time and money to assist hungry Americans as part of Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program. Dan Durheim, executive director of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, says volunteers were recognized at AFBF’s Joint National Leadership and YF&R Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. AFBF’s Miranda McDaniel has the story.
McDaniel:The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau prove that when it comes to getting the job done, there is no better group to call on. Dan Durheim, executive director of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, says Harvest for All, a food assistance program in partnership with Feeding America, gives farmers and ranchers a unique chance to give back.
Durheim:Harvest for All is a project that American Farm Bureau started 10 years ago that creates an opportunity for young farmers and ranchers and Farm Bureau members to really be a part of the hunger solution in this country. The uniqueness to the Harvest for All program really is that it’s community based, so wherever people live is where we want them to be involved. It’s the simple solution that America’s first harvesters, our young farmers and ranchers, team up with Feeding America to be able to create this positive solution that not only shows that farmers care about the constituents and the community members who live in their area but also that they, as part of the people who produce the raw product, want to make sure that people are fed.
McDaniel:In 2012, donations collected in 21 states totaled 28 million meals.
Durheim:We had a record year of donations, $971,235, which I think just kind of blows out of water where we have been in the past, and 24 million pounds of food, 11,333 friends hours. The volunteer hours is really my favorite piece because it goes back to the very core of why we’re doing this, farmers showing up, not only donating product and money, but as importantly they show up to be part of the solution.
McDaniel:California took home the top honors for food donations, with over 10 million pounds. Illinois raised over $750,000, and Michigan Farm Bureau volunteered over 6,400 hours of service. Durheim says this program is a great way for farmers to get involved in their community in addition to solving the problem of hunger on their home fronts.
Durheim:It’s a great opportunity for them to use this as an anchor to say I’m here and I care about you because often we here this notion that people are attached to farmers but they don’t really know how much they actually care. When you think about rural America, and even more urban centers, a lot of the people who are willing to step up and volunteer are our farmers, the farmers and ranchers who live in these communities who say I want to be a part of the solution. It’s their ability to exert the leadership to care and show that they care for their consumers.
McDaniel:In the past 10 years, Farm Bureau and Feeding America have helped serve 83 million meals through Harvest for All. Miranda McDaniel, Washington.
McDaniel:Newsline is updated Mondays and Thursdays by 5pm Eastern time. Thank you for listening. 

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