Louisville, KY – (August 6, 2012) Hunger isn’t just a problem in third-world countries.
“Our most recent figures from USDA say that more than one million Hoosiers are at risk of hunger, and for children, it’s one of four,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIsH) the organization that operates Indiana’s nine regional food banks. “We expect to provide more total pounds of food this year than last.”
To aid in the effort to alleviate at least some of that hunger, Farm Credit Mid-America has stepped up for the third straight year to make a donation of $25,000 to Indiana Pork’s “Million Meals for the Hungry” program. Plus, this year they donated another $10,000 to FIsH to buy freezers to help store the frozen pork meals and other perishable items.
“If we can just be a small part of helping to feed those in need, I don’t know of anything better we could be doing with our Community Giving Program dollars,” said Craig Blume, Farm Credit’s regional vice president for Northwest Indiana.
The Million Meals program was started in 2009 as a partnership between Indiana Pork and agricultural industry partners and individuals. Together they committed to donating one million servings of whole-hog ground pork to FIsH. The program delivered its millionth meal last October, but the need has continued and so has the program. To date, approximately 1.3 pork meals have been delivered.
“Unfortunately the need is probably more significant than when we started,” said Mike Platt, Indiana Pork’s executive director. “This program is the right thing to do, which is why our board has continued it. Farm Credit has been a partner in this from the start, and we appreciate their recognition of the importance of this program to some of the state’s less fortunate.”
With this third donation, Farm Credit has now provided $100,000 to the Million Meals program, which has provided 400,000 servings of the high-quality protein. But to help in the storage and distribution of the pork and other perishables, this year they donated an additional $10,000 to FIsH. Both of this year’s gifts were a combination of corporate donations from Farm Credit’s Louisville office and statewide contributions from Indiana’s 26 field offices.
Weikert Bryant explained that it’s difficult for clients to buy protein, and also expensive for the agencies. She said that while the regional food banks have adequate storage capacity, many of the 1,700 food pantries and soup kitchens that FIsH works with in the state don’t. The ability to purchase some additional freezers will help some of the local agencies to be better able to serve their clients a full range of needed food items.
“Farm Credit’s been a fantastic partner since the inception of the Million Meals program,” said Weikert Bryant. “They’re very active in their communities and know well what the needs are and how the local agencies are doing their best to meet those needs. We really appreciate their insightfulness and generosity for going above and beyond, in order to provide additional funding for our program.”
Blume said that Farm Credit is currently going through a rebranding initiative to ensure that what customers see in the marketplace really represents who they are now, and who they hope to be tomorrow. He said that giving back to the communities they serve is one of Farm Credit’s core values.
“Our Community Giving Program is a key element of who we are,” he said.
About Farm Credit Mid-America, ACA
Farm Credit Mid-America is a $19 billion financial services cooperative serving more than 95,000 farmers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. The association provides loans for all farm and rural living purposes including real estate, operating loans,equipment loans, and housing loans. FCMA also provides an array of financial services, including crop insurance and leases. For more information about Farm Credit, call 1-800-444-FARM or visit them on the web at www.e-farmcredit.com.