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Illinois Farm Bureau youth addresses food insecurity around the state

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(The Center Square) – A program administered by the Illinois Farm Bureau is fighting food insecurity throughout the state.

The Young Leaders program has been taking part in the national Harvest for All initiative, which is an effort by the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“Proceeds go to food pantries, food banks, and I know there are some collegiate farm bureau chapters involved who made an effort to donate to campus food pantries specifically,” said Vanessa Wright, Young Leaders program coordinator.

The group was recently recognized by the Illinois Farm Bureau for their hunger-relief efforts. Each was selected based on a combination of overall pounds of food donated, volunteer hours and dollars raised.

Carroll County Farm Bureau Young Leaders earned first place overall in the Harvest for All Top Contributors awards and was also recognized specifically for most dollars raised and hours volunteered. The group in the past 19 years has raised $498,949 by making personal contact with farmers about donating grain, which they sell to the local elevator and turn the funding over to local food pantries.

“This program would not be possible without our Young Leader volunteers and the farmers who donate,” said Victoria Hansen, Carroll County manager. “We are incredibly grateful to those who support this program.”

The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau.

IFB has a total membership of more than 364,452 and a farmer membership of 75,959. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.

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