December 7, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jed Evans - (478) 474-0679, ext. 5230
GFB DONATES $20,000 TO GEORGIA FOOD BANK ASSOCIATION
MACON, Ga. – With Georgia’s unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent, many families are searching for ways to meet their most basic needs, and chief among them is food.
Georgia Farm Bureau’s annual Harvest For All campaign is aimed at providing food to those who have fallen on hard times.
“One of the biggest ways our organization gives back each year is through the Harvest For All campaign,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “As farmers, we care about the consumers who use the food and fiber we grow, and we also know what it means to help out our neighbor. Harvest For All is a tremendous way to make a difference for those who may not know where to get their next meal.”
For the second straight year, the campaign solicited cash donations, and the state’s 158 county Farm Bureau chapters combined to contribute $20,000, which was presented to Georgia Food Bank Association (GFBA) Executive Director Danah Craft during Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2011 convention on Jekyll Island. The GFBA uses donated dollars to purchase high-protein, low-cost foods like chicken and peanut butter and to offset the costs of various outreach programs like mobile pantries, Manna drops and backpack programs.
The Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee coordinated the 7th Annual Harvest For All Campaign.
“We are so grateful to Georgia Farm Bureau for this donation,” Craft said. “These funds will be used to purchase much needed protein for the seven regional food banks that comprise the Georgia Food Bank Association. Donations like this are critical because food banks often need to purchase protein to supplement the donated food that comes through food drives and other product donations.”
Georgia Farm Bureau’s Harvest For All donation will have a statewide impact. The Georgia Food Bank Association distributes the funds to America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia in Savannah, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Feeding the Valley in Columbus, the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia in Athens, Golden Harvest in Augusta, the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank in Macon and Second Harvest of South Georgia in Valdosta.
“Demand for food assistance in Georgia has grown 30 percent a year for the last two years,” Craft said. “Persistently high unemployment is changing the face of hunger in Georgia. Working families, the unemployed or underemployed, seniors and children make up 1 in 6 Georgians who need food assistance. We are thankful for the generosity of Georgia Farm Bureau members who provided this donation and also to those donate nutritious fruit and vegetables to our Food Bank network throughout the year.”
2011 marked the second straight year GFB’s Harvest For All campaign reached $20,000 in donations. Past campaigns have solicited direct donations of food. The 2010 and 2011 drives focused mainly on cash contributions. Since 2004, GFB has coordinated seven Harvest For All campaigns through which GFB members across the state donated about 49,000 pounds of staple food items and more than $60,000 in cash donations distributed to the food banks located throughout Georgia affiliated with Feeding America. In 2005, GFB members collected 17,000 pounds of food, which were donated to victims of Hurricane Katrina in Hancock County, Miss.
The Center on Hunger and Poverty defines food insecurity as occurring “whenever the availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food, or the ability to acquire acceptable food in socially acceptable ways is limited or uncertain.” The Center defines hunger as “the uneasy or painful sensation caused by a recurrent or involuntary lack of food and is a potential, although not necessary, consequence of food insecurity.”
According to a United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service report released in September, 14.6 percent of U.S. households were food insecure between 2008 and 2010. The report indicated that 16.9 percent of Georgia’s households have low or very low food security, a rate surpassed by just four other states.
“Hunger is a very real, very pressing need in our state,” said 2011 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee Chairman Wesley Hall. “Our hearts really go out to the people who are struggling to feed their families, and the Harvest For All campaign was a good way for us to try and combat hunger in Georgia.”
Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization. The organization has 158 county chapters, and approximately one out of nine Georgians are involved with Farm Bureau. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, district and state activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB also has 20 commodity advisory committees that give the organization input on issues pertinent to the major commodities grown in Georgia.
Click here to download high-resolution photo of check presentation.
CUTLINE FOR PHOTO: Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee Chair Wesley Hall, left and GFB President Zippy Duvall, right, present a check for the proceeds of the 2011 Harvest For All campaign to Georgia Food Bank Association Executive Director Danah Craft during the 2011 GFB annual convention on Jekyll Island Dec. 5.