The Iowa Food Bank Association has partnered with Feeding America to launch a new program in Iowa, called Invest an Acre. It is a project founded by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation and provides farmers a convenient way to donate an acre or more of crop proceeds to help fight hunger. Proceeds from the gifting go directly to the food banks serving the area where the contribution is made.
To donate, a farmer simply needs to fill out a participation form indicating their donation amount and leave it with the elevator when delivering crops. A participation form may be found at your local elevator, on the Iowa Soybean Association website or from the Iowa Food Bank Association. Note that 100% of the
donation will help fund the local food bank or food pantry serving your area.
Farmers enjoy giving back to their local community
In August, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed a proclamation declaring Iowa's
support of Hunger Action Month, September 2014. "Farmers enjoy giving back to their local community when they have the opportunity to do so," said Branstad.
Hunger Action Month is a nationwide effort founded by Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. Hunger Action Month strives to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger. "In Iowa, it's an opportunity for public and private sectors to join together to make a difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors struggling with hunger," says Cory Berkenes, state director of the Iowa Food Bank Association.
In Iowa, 389,000 Iowans are food insecure, meaning they don't always know where they'll find their next meal. Roughly one in five children or 19.3% are food insecure.
"The Invest An Acre" program has already distributed $1.7 million to food banks across rural America.
ISA encourages farmers to participate in this new program
The Iowa Soybean Association values the project and its mission. Iowa Soybean Association director Brian Kemp encourages farmers to participate in the program with the goal of generating $50,000 in contributions for Iowa food banks by using the matching gift opportunity presented by Monsanto and Farm Credit Services of America.
"Farmers take pride in providing a growing world population with safe, reliable and wholesome food," says Kemp who farms near Sibley, Iowa. "We also recognize there are people in our towns and communities who struggle to source the food they need to live active, healthy and productive lives. By gifting grain, farmers can make an immediate and positive impact in rural communities -- places where food insecurity is often overlooked."
Fill out a donation form and leave it at grain elevator
To donate, a farmer simply needs to fill out a participation form indicating their donation amount and leave it with the elevator when delivering crops. A participation form may be found at your local elevator, on the Iowa Soybean Association website, or from the Iowa Food Bank Association. "Again, keep in mind that 100% of your donation will help fund the local food bank or food pantry serving your area," says Kemp.
Berkenes, the Iowa Food Bank Association director, sees the impact partnerships like these have on the state. "Our work with Iowa farmers is tremendously important," he says. "By establishing a link between our farmers and food banks, we elevate awareness of food insecurity and encourage more people to take action benefiting our state and rural and urban communities."
To learn more about how you can take action, visit the Iowa Food Bank Association website (www.iowafba.org), Facebook page (FeedingIowa) or follow on Twitter (@IowaFBA). The Iowa Food Bank Association is a collaborative effort of the eight Feeding America food banks in Iowa that serve all of its 99 counties. Association members include: Food Bank of Iowa, HACAP Food Reservoir, Northeast Iowa Food Bank, River Bend Food Bank, Food Bank of the Heartland, Food Bank of Southern Iowa, Food Bank of Siouxland and St. Stephen's Food Bank.