As America faces the worst drought in half a century, food pantries across the nation face the possibility of receiving fewer donations on average this fall due to higher projected food costs. As school begins, most food banks experience a typical donation slowdown. But thanks to Iowa's FFA chapters, 4-H clubs and Monsanto sites, several food pantries across the state will receive a significant collection of food to help those in need.
Eighty-five FFA chapters and 4-H clubs in Iowa participated in the fourth annual America's Farmers Food Drive, sponsored by Monsanto in conjunction with the 2012 Farm Progress and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. The food drive took place at the Farm Progress Show August 28-30 at Boone in central Iowa and successfully raised 14,865 pounds of food and more than $22,200 in monetary donations.
The top three FFA chapters and top three 4-H clubs that brought the most food, in pounds, were awarded $250. The six ag youth winners include: Newton FFA, Maple Valley FFA (Mapleton), New Hampton FFA, Montana Miners 4-H (Boone), Rabbit Hopping 4-H (Maxwell), Happy Homebodies 4-H (Nevada).
Food pantry donations on the rise despite drought, beyond expectations
"The ag students and the people at the Monsanto sites that participated in the food drive went above and beyond what was expected," says Linda Arnold, Monsanto customer advocacy lead. "As the drought affects farmers and the rural communities that they help to support, it is our goal through the America's Farmers Food Drive to put one foot forward in helping feed the hungry."
Six Monsanto company sites across the state participated in a Food Drive Facilities Competition to help collect food for area pantries. The Muscatine Monsanto site raised 5,800 pounds of food and was the winning facility based on the highest percentage of food collected, per employee.
In addition to the food collected at the America's Farmers Food Drive at Farm Progress
Show, Monsanto donated $10,000 to United Way of Story County, and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation donated $10,000 to Feeding America. "The monetary matches will help pantries purchase food from the Food Bank of Iowa where, for many items, the cost is only 14 cents per pound," says Jean Kresse, United Way of Story County president and CEO. "At that price, $10,000 equals 71,429 pounds of food."
Monsanto launched the America's Farmers Food Drive in 2009 at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill. and has donated nearly 55,000 pounds of food to United Ways to date. To learn more about Monsanto's commitment to farmers across America, please visit www.AmericasFarmers.com.
About Monsanto Company: Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. Monsanto remains focused on enabling both small-holder and large-scale farmers to produce more from their land while conserving more of our world's natural resources such as water and energy. To learn more about our business and our commitments, please visit www.monsanto.com. Follow our business on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/MonsantoCo, on the company blog, Beyond the Rows at www.monsantoblog.com, or subscribe to our News Release RSS Feed.
About The Howard G. Buffett Foundation: Established in 1999, The Howard G. Buffett Foundation's primary mission is to combat hunger and improve the standard of living for vulnerable populations throughout the world. The Foundation invests in a full spectrum of initiatives to address global hunger and food insecurity including direct humanitarian aid for populations in crisis; agricultural development for smallholder farmers, particularly women; livelihood improvement for smallholders through commercial market access; academic and field research to increase farmer productivity in resource-constrained contexts; and advocacy campaigns to sustain and scale best practices. Learn more at www.thehowardgbuffettfoundation.org.