Nebraska Farmers Encouraged to help Feed Rural American Families | TheFencePost.com

Nebraska Farmers Encouraged to help Feed Rural American Families

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – One in seven rural households struggle with hunger and an estimated 2.8 million households in rural America need food assistance. Nebraska farmers can help rural Americans fight food insecurity by participating in the America’s Farmers Food Drive in Grand Island, Neb., from September 13 – 15, during the 2011 Husker Harvest Days.

Monsanto Company, Farm Progress and the Heartland United Way will sponsor the third annual food drive to benefit local food pantries. In addition to collecting food, Monsanto will donate $1 per every pound of food collected, up to $10,000. Each of the four benefitting pantries serves approximately 300-500 individuals per month in the Grand Island area.

“We’re proud to work with Farm Progress and the Heartland United Way to host our third annual food drive together at this year’s Husker Harvest Days,” explained Linda Arnold, Monsanto Customer Outreach Lead. “The average American farmer feeds 155 people each year. Husker Harvest Days is a perfect venue to help United Way feed more families in need.”

Visitors to the 2011 Husker Harvest Days can drop donations off at any of the four entrance gates. Each day, the first 250 farmers who donate nonperishable food will receive a $5 food voucher for use during the show. FFA students who donate will receive free admission to the show.

“The America’s Farmers Food Drive is just one way Husker Harvest Days is pleased to bring support to the community and area where the show is located,” said Matt Jungmann Farm Progress national events manager. “We hope every show visitor brings a non-perishable food item to the show to donate.”

Food donations will also be accepted through September 15 at the Heartland United Way, located at 410 W. 2nd Street, Suite 1, Grand Island, Neb. In addition, local grocery stores including the Skagway, Hy-Vee and Super-Saver in Grand Island will serve as food collection points from September 8 – 15. Food collected at these locations will be included in the $1 per-pound Monsanto match.

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“In an area that prides itself on its production of food, it is hard to imagine that children go hungry here. However, 1-in-5 children lives in poverty in Hall County which means that the next meal is not always easy to find for that child. Another indicator of stretched family budgets that we look at is the number of youth that qualify for free and reduced meals at schools. This past year we saw over 50% of our youth in Hall County qualify for this program” said Karen Rathke, President of Heartland United Way in Grand Island, Neb. “Community meals, food pantry shelves and local school food backpack programs need food to provide help when it is needed most.

“It’s great timing to have this food drive and partnership with Monsanto to raise awareness that the American dream of having enough food and a place to live is not the reality for a lot of people,” she adds.

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – One in seven rural households struggle with hunger and an estimated 2.8 million households in rural America need food assistance. Nebraska farmers can help rural Americans fight food insecurity by participating in the America’s Farmers Food Drive in Grand Island, Neb., from September 13 – 15, during the 2011 Husker Harvest Days.

Monsanto Company, Farm Progress and the Heartland United Way will sponsor the third annual food drive to benefit local food pantries. In addition to collecting food, Monsanto will donate $1 per every pound of food collected, up to $10,000. Each of the four benefitting pantries serves approximately 300-500 individuals per month in the Grand Island area.

“We’re proud to work with Farm Progress and the Heartland United Way to host our third annual food drive together at this year’s Husker Harvest Days,” explained Linda Arnold, Monsanto Customer Outreach Lead. “The average American farmer feeds 155 people each year. Husker Harvest Days is a perfect venue to help United Way feed more families in need.”

Visitors to the 2011 Husker Harvest Days can drop donations off at any of the four entrance gates. Each day, the first 250 farmers who donate nonperishable food will receive a $5 food voucher for use during the show. FFA students who donate will receive free admission to the show.

“The America’s Farmers Food Drive is just one way Husker Harvest Days is pleased to bring support to the community and area where the show is located,” said Matt Jungmann Farm Progress national events manager. “We hope every show visitor brings a non-perishable food item to the show to donate.”

Food donations will also be accepted through September 15 at the Heartland United Way, located at 410 W. 2nd Street, Suite 1, Grand Island, Neb. In addition, local grocery stores including the Skagway, Hy-Vee and Super-Saver in Grand Island will serve as food collection points from September 8 – 15. Food collected at these locations will be included in the $1 per-pound Monsanto match.

“In an area that prides itself on its production of food, it is hard to imagine that children go hungry here. However, 1-in-5 children lives in poverty in Hall County which means that the next meal is not always easy to find for that child. Another indicator of stretched family budgets that we look at is the number of youth that qualify for free and reduced meals at schools. This past year we saw over 50% of our youth in Hall County qualify for this program” said Karen Rathke, President of Heartland United Way in Grand Island, Neb. “Community meals, food pantry shelves and local school food backpack programs need food to provide help when it is needed most.

“It’s great timing to have this food drive and partnership with Monsanto to raise awareness that the American dream of having enough food and a place to live is not the reality for a lot of people,” she adds.