Young farmers give to families of need this harvest

thanksgiving-dinnerTaking a stand against hunger in their local communities, the Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) State Young Farmer Committee is donating $1,000 on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 2pm to Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan (Gleaners), one of the seven regional food banks in the state.

The funds will be utilized to purchase in-demand food products for local families in the region.

“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.”

The young farmers’ donation will be doubled by Monsanto through the Invest an Acre program, magnifying the impact to $2,000 for Gleaners and $14,000 statewide. Each dollar donated provides three meals to those in need.

Despite the bountiful harvest being gathered across rural Michigan, more than 1.7 million Michiganders—including 20 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.

“One in five Michigan households choose between buying food to eat or paying for other basic needs,” said Gleaners President Gerry Brisson. “For families who are already struggling, the holidays can be especially tough. I’m so very grateful for the support of the MFB State Young Farmer Committee. This donation helps give our struggling neighbors a hunger-free holiday as well as the opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their families.”

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 the Gleaners 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.”a

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