Three out of four food pantries have reported that the number of people they serve has increased in recent years, according to Feeding America. To help alleviate hunger in Nebraska, Monsanto, in conjunction with Farm Progress and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, sponsored the fifth annual America's Farmers Food Drive at Husker Harvest Days Sept. 10-12 in Grand Island, Neb. The food drive collected 13,434 pounds of food for food pantries in the Grand Island area.
86 FFA chapters and 4-H clubs in Nebraska participated in the America's Farmers Food Drive. The top three ag youth organizations that brought the most food, more than 100 pounds, were awarded $250 each. The organizations to receive the award are:
•Chambers FFA- 584 pounds
•East Butler FFA- 522 pounds
•Ravenna FFA- 361 pounds
"We hope that the America's Farmers Food Drive at Husker Harvest Days will raise awareness and help eliminate rural hunger," said Elizabeth Vancil, Monsanto customer advocacy outreach manager. "The FFA and 4-H members who participated in the food drive should be proud to know that their donations will be given to local pantries, in order to help feed people who are struggling in their own communities."
In addition to the food collected at the America's Farmers Food Drive at Farm Progress
Show, Monsanto donated $10,000 to the Heartland United Way, and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation donated $10,000 to Feeding America.
"The matching dollars from Monsanto will provide fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs, meat and other perishable foods for local food pantries to ensure balanced, healthy meals are provided to families who are facing tough economic times," said Karen Rathke, Heartland United Way president. "The matching funds are also used to provide emergency food vouchers for situations when children are at high risk of not having food at home. There is nothing more heartbreaking than a hungry child."
Monsanto launched the America's Farmers Food Drive in 2009 at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill., collecting more than 100,400 pounds of food to date.