Harvest for All
Farm Bureau’s young farmers and ranchers have worked side by side with Feeding America for the past 10 years to help provide food to those in need around our country through the Harvest for All campaign. More than 50 million Americans – that’s 1 in 6 – including nearly 17 million children, are food insecure, meaning they live at risk of hunger.
Throughout the year, farmers and ranchers across the nation donate food, funds and people power to create a hunger-free America. And whether the contribution is a bushel, a dollar, or an hour, Farm Bureau and Feeding America will be working together to finish an important job: making sure every American can enjoy the bounty produced on our farms and ranches.
An initial relationship was forged between the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and Feeding America (then known as America’s Second Harvest) when AFBF offered its support to Feeding America’s first Hunger Awareness Day on June 5, 2002. Discussions following the event evolved to identify that a separate partnership between Feeding America and AFBF, specifically the Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) Program, would be mutually beneficial.
As the first step in developing this partnership, members of AFBF’s YF&R Committee participated in a service project with Feeding America in November 2002. The event was a success, leading to the announcement of Farm Bureau’s collaboration with Feeding America and the Harvest for All campaign on June 5, 2003, Feeding America’s second annual National Hunger Awareness Day.
The Harvest for All campaign includes activities organized by state and county Farm Bureaus in connection with local Feeding America affiliates across the country. Through the campaign’s 10-year history, YF&R programs across the country have donated their food, money and their time to provide more than 83 million meal equivalents to hungry Americans.
The “Most Innovative” award recognizes five states whose unique Harvest for All activities encourage participation and are programs that can be easily replicated in other states. The 2012 “Most Innovative” states were:
- Indiana – The Indiana Farm Bureau holds both silent and live auctions at its Young Farmer Conference each year. The Young Farmer Committee donates items and runs the silent auction between sessions. The live auction is held during the headlining dinner to ensure maximum participation. They were able to raise more than $5,000 in one day with this event, which was then sent to the Gleaners’ transportation fund to be distributed to food banks throughout the state.
- Kansas – Through the “Support for All” campaign, Kansas Farm Bureau YF&R spread their Harvest for All efforts all over the state. They logged volunteer hours at the Kansas Food Bank in Wichita, packaged more than 5 tons of bread at the Harvesters facility in Topeka, and donated more than $500 worth of food to the Topeka Ronald McDonald House. Kansas YF&R also created a page on the state Farm Bureau website to highlight these efforts, as well as to bring awareness to other state and national programs.
- Louisiana – The Louisiana Farm Bureau YF&R Committee held a live auction during two nights of their Annual Meeting. With a crowd of more than 1,000 people and the committee acting as facilitators and auctioneers, items such as a guided hog hunt and a two-night stay in New Orleans raised $2,950 for the Food Bank of Central Louisiana.
- North Carolina – The North Carolina Farm Bureau YF&R Committee, along with the Collegiate YF&R and North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, created the “Carting Away Hunger” campaign, a year-long program to support local food banks. Through a month-long canned good drive at the Farm Bureau office, gleaning produce around the state and volunteering man hours, they managed to collect more than 212,000 pounds of food, cash donations and logged 776.5 man hours. By combining the efforts of all of these groups, they created a state-wide project that helped many North Carolina families.
- New York – New York’s “A Taste of Rensselaer County” is a program that has been running for nine years, but for the first time it was partnered with the regional food bank. Through educational “tasting” stations, the event highlighted the local farming economy, as well as restaurants, shopping centers and other businesses in the area. They raised more than $8,700 for the regional food bank, which could then provide more than $87,000 worth of grocery products to the agencies it serves.