Nearly 15 percent of rural households in America face food insecurity, which amounts to an estimated 3 million families, according to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization. Families in these communities are often busy helping to feed the world but do not have access to enough food to sustain a healthy lifestyle. But thanks to the upcoming America’s Farmers Food Drive, rural households across the state of Iowa will soon see food on their table.
The fourth annual America’s Farmers Food Drive, sponsored by Monsanto in conjunction with Farm Progress and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, will take place at the Farm Progress Show Aug. 28-30 in Boone, Iowa. The first 250 attendees who donate a bag of food at the Farm Progress Show entrance will be given free entry upon arrival.
"The food that is collected will stay local and benefit the communities of those who donated," said Linda Arnold, Monsanto customer advocacy lead. "Through the America’s Farmers Food Drive, we strive to raise awareness of rural hunger. We hope to surpass 10,000 pounds, which was raised at last year’s Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill."
All FFA chapters and 4-H clubs in Iowa are invited to participate in the America’s Farmers Food Drive. Students who donate food will receive free entry to the Farm Progress Show, and the top three FFA chapters and top three 4-H clubs that donate the highest amount of food, in pounds, will be awarded $250 directly to their organization. Additionally, for every pound of food collected, Monsanto will donate $1 (up to $10,000) to United Way of Story County, and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation will donate $1 (up to $10,000) to Feeding America.
"America’s farmers are already leaders in trying to create a more food secure world," said Howard G. Buffett, HGBF president. "But we must always remember that 50 million Americans struggle to keep food on the table every day; the America’s Farmers Food Drive is an opportunity for farmers to do what they do best: help feed our families, friends and neighbors."
From Muscatine to Storm Lake, Monsanto sites across the state will also be participating in a food drive competition for the month of August. The food that is raised from each site will be donated to a local food pantry.
Monsanto launched the America’s Farmers Food Drive in 2009 at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill., which resulted in more than 40,000 pounds of food being donated to United Way to date. Visitors to the 2012 Farm Progress Show can donate food at collection centers located at the three public entrance gates, in addition to the vendor entrance gate Aug. 28 through Aug. 30.
To learn more about Monsanto’s commitment to farmers across America, please visit www.AmericasFarmers.com.