Farm and ranch families from across the nation donated 25.3 million pounds of food and raised more than $1 million to help fight hunger in 2022 through Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program. Combined, the monetary and food donations totaled the equivalent of 31.1 million meals.
Criteria for tracking Harvest for All donations included dollars and pounds of food donated by state and county Farm Bureaus, as well as volunteer hours, reported from the grassroots up as part of the annual campaign.
The spirit of farm communities has always been one of working together and giving back. Now in its 21st year, Harvest for All is spearheaded by members of Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program, but members of all ages from across the nation contribute to the effort. Their participation helps ensure Americans who are facing food insecurity can enjoy the bounty of food farmers and ranchers produce.
In addition to raising food and funds, farmers and ranchers tallied 13,827 volunteer hours assisting local hunger groups in 2022.
“The reality is that addressing hunger is a concern for people from all walks of life, including many rural Americans and residents of farming communities,” said Matt Fimon of Virginia, chair of AFBF’s YF&R Committee. “Farm Bureau remains committed to helping put food on the tables of those in need through Harvest for All.”
Florida Farm Bureau took top honors for donating the most food in 2022, 18.7 million pounds. This included member participation in food drives and fundraisers to purchase holiday meals for those in need. Farmers also participated in gleaning activities, helping collect produce left in fields after harvest for donation to local food panties.
Michigan Farm Bureau took top honors for raising the most money in 2022, $372,716. Numerous fundraising activities conducted by county Farm Bureaus and the Agent Charitable Fund, coupled with “double-up” grants, helped Michigan reach this impressive total for funds donated. A month-long Million Meals Challenge that encouraged members and county Farm Bureaus to partner with communities to raise enough funds to provide 1 million meals also helped spur support.
Florida Farm Bureau tallied the most volunteer hours, 6,400. This included time collecting and delivering food and supplies to community members impacted by hurricanes. Members involved in YF&R programs in several counties also participated in gleaning projects, helping local farmers pick produce from fields after harvest for donation to local food pantries.
Thanks to the generosity of Nationwide, these state organizations received a $500 grant (for each type of contribution) for donation to a local food bank of their choice or for another Harvest for All project.
Second-place winners were New York Farm Bureau for 6.4 million pounds of food donated, Tennessee Farm Bureau for $256,500 in donated funds and Illinois Farm Bureau for 4,153 hours of donated volunteer time.
Each of the second-place winners received a $250 grant from Nationwide to donate to the local food bank of their choice.
Most Innovative Winner
In addition, the Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leader Committee received a $250 grant from Nationwide for “most innovative” program for hosting a March Madness NCAA basketball tournament fundraiser. Participants made donations to submit their brackets and the winner donated funds to Feeding Illinois, the association of Feeding America food banks that serve Illinois.
The awards were presented during AFBF’s 2023 FUSION Conference, held March 3-6 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Since Harvest for All was launched, Farm Bureau families have gathered 437 million pounds of food, logged more than 237,000 volunteer hours and raised more than $11 million in donations.