As a lifelong Nebraskan, I was surprised and shocked to learn that nearly 95,000 children in our state are food insecure, meaning they don’t know when or where they’ll find their next meal. Those kids are part of a statewide total of nearly a quarter million Nebraskans who are food insecure – nearly 14 percent of our population. The problem impacts rural residents as well as those in bigger cities.
Now there’s an easy way for Nebraska’s grain producers to help alleviate hunger in their local communities. Invest an Acre Nebraska is a new program that’s just been launched in the state. It’s part of a broader nationwide program funded by Illinois farmer Howard Buffett through his foundation. Buffett’s goal is to mobilize America’s farmers to help their local neighbors.
This fall, when Nebraska farmers take their grain to a participating elevator, they can designate an acre or more of their harvest to be donated. The elevator handles the paperwork and sends 100 percent of the value of their donation to the nonprofit Feeding America, which distributes the funds to producers’ local food banks. FCSAmerica and Monsanto then match the value of the grain donations to make an even bigger impact. Producers get a receipt that acknowledges their tax-deductible contribution.
As the program gets off the ground, farmers can help by encouraging their local elevator to get involved. It’s easy to join – the elevator enrollment form is available online at investanacre.com.
Let us know if you’re a producer who donates through Invest an Acre Nebraska this fall. We’d like to hear your story.