Young Farmers Donate $15,000 to food bank
» March 15, 2004 «
California Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers members today donated $15,000 to the Food Bank of Santa Barbara, capping a successful food drive by YF&R members in several counties. The donation in Santa Maria by Santa Barbara County YF&R members is the culmination of the Harvest For All campaign, organized by the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Stan Otremba, chairman of Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau YF&R committee, joined by Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau President Ken Doty and Executive Director Teri Bontrager, presented the $15,000 check to food bank officials at Agro-Jal in Santa Maria.
"We're pleased to be able to help the Food Bank of Santa Barbara in its mission to serve the hungry and homeless in our communities," said Otremba. "This donation reflects the hard work and dedication of YF&R members throughout the state who want to share farmers' bounty with the less fortunate."
Syngenta, a sponsor of the American Farm Bureau campaign, presented the $15,000 award to California YF&R members at a recent AFBF leadership conference. The award was given to the top state whose YF&R members donated the most food, money and volunteer time to the Harvest for All program. Young farmers in California topped all three categories by raising more than $33,000 in cash donations, 647,000 pounds of food and more than 3,300 volunteer hours in 2003 to help local food banks.
California Farm Bureau YF&R Chairman Jamie Johansson of Oroville praised the efforts of the Santa Barbara County members for embracing the spirit and goals of the campaign. Johansson said the county's YF&R members raised $31,000, donated 568,000 pounds of food and contributed 1,763 volunteer hours.
"Young farmers really got into the Harvest for All campaign, especially here in Santa Barbara County," said Johansson. "Considering the huge local effort, our state committee decided that the entire award of $15,000 should go to the Santa Barbara YF&R committee, which elected to give it to the Food Bank of Santa Barbara."
Otremba said the check will help the Food Bank's capital campaign for a new warehouse to better serve the community in future years.
"Farmers have a history of caring, sharing and being involved in their communities," said Otremba. "Through the Harvest for All campaign, we are committed to a partnership between farmers and those who serve food banks and local food relief agencies."
The American Farm Bureau Federation organized the Harvest for All campaign in cooperation with America's Second Harvest. Through America's Second Harvest network of more than 200 regional food banks and food rescue organizations, supporting 50,000 relief agencies, food is distributed to 23 million Americans each year in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
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