Advancements in agriculture have allowed a single famer to produce enough food to feed 155 people, which is up significantly from 1960 when that number was only 25. Your harvests are abundant, yet in Montana, a state where raising food is still the No. 1 industry, there are more than 139,000 households that struggle with food insecurity. That number includes 45,110 children… a shocking and heartbreaking number. How can we change this?
Since farmers and ranchers are America’s first harvesters, our industry has the ability to have a huge impact on this issue. Here are a few ideas, but the sky is the limit and every little bit helps!
Develop a relationship with your local food bank
Working with your local food bank/pantry will give you a better understanding of the needs in your local community. As an individual or a county Farm Bureau, developing a relationship with the people who are addressing this need gives you a great opportunity to put the Farm Bureau network to work. This is an easy one… pick up the phone or stop by and simply say, “How can we help?”
Donate food to your local food bank
Protein is the most needed item, and one that every food bank cannot keep stocked on their shelves. Consider donating some of Montana’s delicious, locally grown beef! Maybe you had a bumper crop of sweet corn or potatoes or your garden produced more than you can eat...keep your local food bank in mind as you decide what to do with all of nature’s abundance.
Support the companies that help fight hunger
Many of Montana’s commodities need to be processed before they are ready for store shelves. The Montana Food Bank Network (MFBN) has a number of companies they work with to process the raw commodities, such as wheat, which can then be donated to the Montana Food Bank Network. For example, Pasta Montana is their main supplier of pasta products and Milling Montana provides them with Our Neighbors Daily Bread flour. When farmers and ranchers works with these companies (and others) they are helping to fight hunger by growing the grains needed for these products.
Register today for Hoofin’ It for Hunger!
Montana Farm Bureau’s very own Young Farmer and Rancher Program is doing their part to help the fight by holding the Hoofin’ It for Hunger trail run October 8 in Miles City. A great new addition: you don’t have to be there in person or be a runner to support us. Simply go to 406running.com and register to be a Virtual Runner. We’ll send you a Hoofin’ It race shirt and all the proceeds go to the Montana Food Bank Network. In fact, over the past five years this event has donated nearly $30,000 and more than 12,000 pounds of food to the Montana Food Bank Network. Let’s increase that number. Sign up for Hoofin’ It for Hunger today!