Farm Bureau Tradition of Giving Back Continues through Harvest for All Program
Newsroom / March 1, 2022
Farm and ranch families from across the nation donated 36.4 million pounds of food and raised more than $258,000 to help fight hunger in 2021 through Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program. Combined, the monetary and food donations totaled the equivalent of 30.5 million meals.
Criteria for tracking Harvest for All donations included dollars and pounds of food donated by state and county Farm Bureaus, as well as volunteer hours, reported from the grassroots up as part of the annual campaign.
The spirit of farm communities has always been one of working together and giving back. Now in its 20th year, Harvest for All is spearheaded by members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program, but members of all ages from across the nation contribute to the effort. Their participation helps ensure Americans who are facing food insecurity can enjoy the bounty of food farmers and ranchers produce.
In addition to raising food and funds, farmers and ranchers tallied 9,405 volunteer hours assisting local hunger groups in 2021.
“Coping with hunger is a daily reality for people from all walks of life, including many residents of rural areas and farming communities,” said Alisha Schwertner of Texas, chair of AFBF’s YF&R Committee. “Through Harvest for All, Farm Bureau remains committed to putting food on the tables of those in need.”
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 donations of produce to food banks. Farmers also participated in the Produce Box Program, donating produce left in fields after harvest to community members in need.
Illinois Farm Bureau took top honors for raising the most money in 2021, $162,587. Partnering with county Farm Bureaus, hosting a “March Madness Bracket Challenge” and conducting campaigns with FFA and Collegiate Farm Bureaus were among the strategies used to raise funds.
Florida Farm Bureau tallied the most volunteer hours, 4,510. This included 100 volunteers packaging more than 50,000 meals for local families through 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.
Thanks to the generosity of Nationwide, these state organizations received a $500 grant (for each type of contribution) for donation to a local food bank of their choice or for another Harvest for All project.
Second-place winners were New York Farm Bureau for 5.7 million pounds of food donated, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau for $47,154 in donated funds and Illinois Farm Bureau for 4,063 hours of donated volunteer time.
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
In addition, the Florida Farm Bureau YF&R Committee received a $250 grant from Nationwide for “most innovative” program for the “Farming for Hope” event conducted in partnership with Meals for Hope. The success of this innovative project, which included packaging 50,000 meals for local families, was due to the collaboration of numerous county Farm Bureaus, YF&R programs and community volunteers.
The awards were presented during AFBF’s 2022 Young Farmers & Ranchers Conference, which wrapped up Monday. Since Harvest for All was launched, Farm Bureau families have gathered 412 million pounds of food, logged more than 224,000 volunteer hours and raised more than $10 million in donations.