The farm and ranch families of Farm Bureau donated 32.4 million pounds of food and raised more than $362,000 to assist hungry Americans in 2018 as part of the organization’s “Harvest for All” program. Combined, the monetary and food donations totaled the equivalent of 28.2 million meals.
Now in its 17th year, Harvest for All is spearheaded by members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program, but Farm Bureau members of all ages from across the nation contribute to the effort. By heeding the call to action, they help ensure Americans in need can enjoy the bounty of food farmers and ranchers produce.
In addition to raising food and funds for the initiative, farmers and ranchers tallied 22,500 volunteer hours assisting local hunger groups in 2018.
“Hunger continues to be a concern for many Americans in rural areas and farming communities,” said Paul Molesky, a farmer from New York who chairs AFBF’s national YF&R committee. “Farm Bureau’s long tradition of helping put food on the tables of those who need it the most continues through our Harvest for All efforts.”
Harvest for All is one of the most important community service efforts undertaken by Farm Bureau members. Although the U.S. economy is stronger overall compared to several years ago, many Americans still need help securing adequate food for their families.
Florida Farm Bureau took top honors for donating the most food in 2018, 20.2 million pounds. Illinois Farm Bureau raised the most money, $141,000. Florida Farm Bureau tallied the most volunteer hours, 10,000. Thanks to the generosity of Nationwide, each of those state organizations received a $500 grant to donate to a local food bank of their choice or for another Harvest for All project.
Second-place winners were New York Farm Bureau for food donated at 11.2 million pounds; Tennessee Farm Bureau for donated funds at $109,000; and Illinois Farm Bureau for volunteer time at 9,700 hours. Each of the second-place winners received a $250 grant from Nationwide to donate to the local food bank of their choice.
In addition, three state YF&R committees received $250 grants from Nationwide for “most innovative” programs. Those winners were Florida, New York and North Carolina.
The awards were presented during the Farm Bureau FUSION Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, earlier this month. Since Harvest for All was launched, Farm Bureau families have gathered 306 million pounds of food, logged more than 179,000 volunteer hours and raised $7.8 million in donations.