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Farm Bureau works to reduce hunger with donation

MACON — Sumter County Farm Bureau recently donated to the Georgia Food Bank Association (GFBA) during the statewide Harvest for All campaign coordinated by the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee.
Georgia Farm Bureau’s statewide 2017 Harvest for All campaign raised $20,000, which was presented to Georgia Food Bank Association (GFBA) Regional Produce Sourcer Dustin Lard during the 2017 Georgia Farm Bureau convention on Jekyll Island.
“We are fortunate to live in a country where our farmers produce an abundance of food,” said Charles Hodges, Sumter County Farm Bureau president. “Still, there are numerous families — some in our own community — who do not always know where or how they’ll get their next meal. The Harvest for All campaign is one way Farm Bureau works to improve the lives of our neighbors in need.”
Food insecurity is an ongoing challenge statewide. According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), an average of 14 percent of Georgia households experienced food insecurity over the three-year period from 2014 to 2016, meaning that during that time those households experienced periods where their diets were reduced in quality, variety or desirability, or they had disrupted eating patterns or reduced food intake. ERS reported food insecurity in 12.3 percent of households nationwide in 2016. Food insecurity has been linked to a variety of chronic health issues.
The GFBA 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. The GFBA also uses donated funds to cover costs associated with collecting and distributing food donations through its various outreach programs. The GFBA will distribute the funds to eight regional food banks around the state. For more information about the Georgia Food Bank Association visit http://georgiafoodbankassociation.org.
Past Harvest for All campaigns have solicited direct donations of food. The 2010 drive focused on cash contributions. Since 2004, GFB has coordinated campaigns through which GFB members from across the state have donated approximately 49,000 pounds of staple food items and more than $180,000 in cash donations distributed to Georgia food banks affiliated with Feeding America.
Founded in 1937, Georgia Farm Bureau is a membership-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to serving as the voice of Georgia farmers and rural Georgia. GFB, Georgia’s largest farm organization, promotes Georgia commodities and offers legislative representation to ensure Georgia’s farming future. Its volunteer members actively participate in local, state and national activities that promote agriculture awareness to their non-farming neighbors.
GFB membership is open to the public and offers a wide variety of benefits, including insurance and discounts for health services, travel and family entertainment. Enrollment in any of the member benefits is optional and not a requirement for membership.  For more information about agriculture please visit Sumter County Farm Bureau at www.gfb.org

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