December 11, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jed Evans - (478) 474-0679, ext. 5230, firstname.lastname@example.org
GFB DONATES $20,000 TO GEORGIA FOOD BANK ASSOCIATION
MACON, Ga. – Georgia Farm Bureau’s annual Harvest For All campaign is aimed at providing food to those who have struggled to put food on the table. For the fifth straight year, the campaign solicited cash donations in 2014. Georgia’s 158 county Farm Bureau chapters and home office contributed $20,000, which was presented to Georgia Food Bank Association (GFBA) Director Danah Craft during Georgia Farm Bureau’s 77th Annual Convention on Jekyll Island.
According to the GFBA, 18.9 percent of Georgians are food insecure, meaning they do not always know where they will find their next meal. The national average is 15.9 percent. Hunger is more extensive among the state’s children; more than 700,000, or 28.1 percent, live in food insecure households. More than 200,000 of Georgia’s food insecure children are from working families whose household income is above poverty level, which is defined as $23,850 for a family of four.
“Really, the number of Georgians who struggle to put food on the table is profound,” said GFB President Zippy Duvall. “Georgia Farm Bureau is always mindful that we have fellow Georgians who are hungry, and the Harvest For All campaign is our way to help ease their pain.”
The GFB Young Farmer Committee coordinated the 10th Annual Harvest For All Campaign.
Craft said that on average the GFBA can leverage each dollar into $7 worth of food.
“For example, we might $750 to rent a refrigerated truck to pick up 40,000 pounds of donated carrots,” Craft said. “The funds are needed to get those carrots to families in need. That is real leverage.”
The GFBA also 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.
Craft added that the relationship between GFBA and Georgia Farm Bureau has yielded increased visibility, which in turn has increased farmers’ direct donations of fresh produce to the GFBA, which in 2014 launched the Farm to Foodbank program to facilitate direct food donations from farmers. Craft said her organization’s increased visibility through its affiliation with Georgia Farm Bureau has generated greater than anticipated results.
“We were hoping to get 2 million pounds of No. 2 product, fresh fruits and vegetables that would otherwise have been thrown back in the field,” Craft said. “So far this year we’ve gotten more than 10 million pounds. That’s 250 tractor-trailer loads of product that is aesthetically imperfect, but nourishing and absolutely essential to add to the diets of the one in five families in Georgia that need assistance.”
Using Feeding America’s standard of 1.2 pounds of food per meal, that 10 million pounds of donations translates to 8.3 million meals that Craft attributes to GFBA’s affiliation with Georgia Farm Bureau.
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, the Chattanooga Area Food Bank (Food Bank of Northwest Georgia), 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.
Past Harvest for All campaigns have solicited direct donations of food. Since 2004, GFB has coordinated nine Harvest For All campaigns through which GFB members across the state donated about 49,000 pounds of staple food items and more than $120,000 in cash donations distributed to the food banks located throughout Georgia affiliated with Feeding America.
“Our hearts go out to all the people around the state who have difficulty putting food on their tables,” said 2014 GFB Young Farmer Committee Chairman Matthew London. “The Harvest For All program, which involves cooperation from our county Farm Bureau chapters, has been an important part of our work on the Young Farmer Committee.”
Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is the state’s largest general farm organization. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, district and state activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors. GFB also has 20 agricultural commodity advisory committees that give the organization input on issues pertinent to the major crops and livestock grown in Georgia.
Click here to download high-resolution photo of check presentation.
CUTLINE FOR PHOTO: Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee Chair Matthew London, left, and GFB President Zippy Duvall present a check for the proceeds of the 2014 Harvest For All campaign to Georgia Food Bank Association Executive Director Danah Craft during the 2014 GFB Annual Convention on Jekyll Island Dec. 7.