Harvest for All

2021 Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmer Committee chair Will Godowns (left) and GFB president Tom McCall (right) present a check for the proceeds of the 2021 "Harvest for All" campaign to Georgia Food Bank Association executive director Danah Craft during the 2021 GFB annual convention on Jekyll Island.

Catoosa County Farm Bureau recently donated $250 to the Georgia Food Bank Association (GFBA) during the statewide “Harvest for All” campaign coordinated by the Georgia Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee.

Georgia Farm Bureau’s statewide 2021 “Harvest for All” campaign raised $20,000, which was presented to Georgia Food Bank Association (GFBA) executive director Danah Craft during the 2021 Georgia Farm Bureau convention on Jekyll Island.

“Many of our friends and neighbors have struggled over the past two years, especially when it comes to feeding their families,” said Bernard Sims, Catoosa County Farm Bureau president. “The Harvest for All donation is our way of helping feed those in need.”

The USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), in its report “Household Food Insecurity in the United States in 2020,” shows an average of 10% of Georgia households (approximately 1.1 million people) experienced food insecurity over the three-year period from 2018 to 2020, 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 an average of 10.7% (13.9 million) of households nationwide from 2018 to 2020. Food insecurity has been linked to a variety of chronic health issues. The full report is available here.

Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap interactive tool, which tracks county-level hunger statistics, showed that 89 of Georgia’s 159 counties had food insecurity in 15% or more of their households. The report indicated 1,279,310 food insecure people in Georgia in 2019, or 12% of the state’s total population. Nationally, the report estimated more than 35 million food insecure people.

In a Feeding America companion study, the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to have resulted in an increase of food insecurity to 12.8% of Georgia households in 2021, and an estimated 16% of children in the state experienced food insecurity.

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 offset 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.

Since 2004, GFB has coordinated annual “Harvest for All” campaigns through which GFB members across the state have donated about 49,000 pounds of staple food items and more than $260,000 in cash donations distributed to the food banks located throughout Georgia 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. If you would like more information about agriculture please visit www.gfb.org, like Georgia Farm Bureau on Facebook or follow on Twitter @GaFarmBureau.

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