Comstock Park, Mich. — Oct. 26, 2015 — Taking a stand against hunger in their local communities, the Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) State Young Farmer Committee is donating $1,000 on Nov. 2 to Feeding America West Michigan, one of the seven regional food banks in the state. The funds will be utilized to distribute food to families in 40 Michigan counties.
“Our state’s 18-35-year-old young farmers work hard to promote hunger awareness and raise funds to give back,” said committee chair Mark Daniels. “As farmers and young people starting careers and families of our own, we see and feel for our neighbors in need. It’s our hope this donation helps more Michigan families access affordable, quality foods.”
Despite the bountiful harvest being gathered across rural Michigan, more than 1.6 million Michiganders—including 21 percent of the state’s children—don’t know if or when they will get their next meal. MFB’s young farmers donated a total of $7,000 to help stock regional food banks serving food-insecure families in all 83 counties.
“Michigan farmers are at the heart of what we do at the Food Bank,” said Feeding America West Michigan CEO Ken Estelle. “With their help, fresh fruits and vegetables now make up a third of all the food we take in and distribute. That the farming community would give back financially as well — I think that’s incredible.”
The donation is one part of the group’s Harvest for All campaign, a partnership between MFB’s Young Farmer and Promotion and Education committees and the Food Bank Council of Michigan. This partnership is designed to fight hunger in Michigan through donations of non-perishable food products, volunteer time, monetary donations and donations of surplus agricultural commodities to local food banks or agencies. Last year the campaign helped contribute more than two tons of nonperishable food items, 159 tons of surplus commodities and $26,000 in donations to local food banks and agencies statewide.
“As farmers, we dedicate our lives to feeding people, making Feeding America West Michigan a perfect partner,” Daniels added. “We work every day to help produce healthy food for families across the world. We’re proud to grow that food, but we’re also proud to help put it on the tables of our neighbors in need.”
The young farmers’ donation will be doubled by Monsanto through the Invest an Acre program, magnifying the impact to $2,000 for Feeding America West Michigan, the equivalent of 8,000 meals, and a total of $14,000 statewide.
About the Food Bank Council of Michigan. Founded in 1984, the Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM) provides statewide leadership to food banks in their efforts to alleviate hunger. FBCM works with its seven regional food banks and more than 3,000 hunger relief agencies, private companies, farmers, state and federal officials and other allies to make sure Michigan residents don’t go hungry. For more information, visit fbcmich.org or call 517-485-1202.
About Michigan Farm Bureau. Established in 1919, Michigan Farm Bureau is the state’s largest farm organization, representing farms of all sizes and commodity types. Its mission is to represent, protect and enhance the business, economic, social and educational interests of its farmer members. For more information, visit michfb.com or call 517-323-7000.
About Michigan Farm Bureau Young Farmers. Michigan Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer program identifies and serves the needs of young farmers, assisting both their personal and professional lives. The program further develops leadership skills in members ages. For more information, visit michfb.com/YoungFarmer or call 517-679-5444.
About Feeding America West Michigan. Serving local families in need since 1981, Feeding America West Michigan reclaims safe surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. We distribute that food through a network of more than 1,100 food pantries, youth programs, and other hunger-relief agencies in 40 counties from the Indiana border through the Upper Peninsula. Each year, an estimated 492,100 people receive food from Feeding America West Michigan. For more information, visit feedwm.org.