Local Farmers donate "bushels for hunger"
This fall, farmers throughout the area will donate bushels of grain as a fundraiser for the River Bend Food Bank through the program “Bushels for Hunger”. Farmers often bring harvested corn and soybeans to nearby grain elevators to be sold or for storage. When they unload the crop, the elevator clerk will ask if the farmer would like to donate bushels of grain to fight hunger. All of the grain donated will be sold and the money earned will be donated to the River Bend food-bank.
Caren Laughlin, Marketing Director of the River Bend Food-bank, stated that “Every week approximately 10,000 people are served by the Foodbank’s distribution network and last year we distributed more than 7 million pounds of food annually, which helped to provide an additional 5 million meals to the hungry.” Laughlin also added that 40% of those consuming the food are children.
“As a farmer, it’s hard for me to see people in our community wonder how they are going to get their next meal, it’s especially hard to see children and the elderly go hungry, said Jeff Kirwan, President of the Mercer County Farm Bureau. “Every day, I work to grow healthy, safe food. Today, I’m donating part of my harvest to make sure that food gets to people in need.”
Terry Sponheim, Manager of the Aledo and Edginton Big River Resources said, “Big River Resources has helped with the Bushels for Hunger program since its inception by collecting bushels and has also helped with food distribution in Aledo. The need for food at the Aledo Mobile Food Pantry was overwhelming.”
Laughlin said, “Bushels for Hunger helps the food-bank by supporting our efforts to obtain more food to supply our agencies who greatly depend on us as a vital food source.” The Bushels for Hunger program has raised over $100,000 for the River Bend Food-bank since the program began in 2010.
“According to Gary Hoff, University of Illinois Extension Taxation Specialist, the tax advantages of donating commodities far outweigh those for a contribution of cash. A cash donation is made from the sale proceeds of the grain. Therefore, the sale is reported on Schedule F and is included in both taxable income and self-employment income.”
The elevators participating in Bushels for Hunger are: ADM Grain, Atkinson Grain, Big River Resources, Cargill, CGB, Gold Star FS, Hillsdale Elevator, Michlig Grain, Patriot Renewable, River Gulf Grain, River Valley Cooperative, and Rumbold & Kuhn.
The Bushels for Hunger program will continue until January 31st. To learn more about the donation, contact the Henry, Rock Island, Mercer, Stark or Whiteside County Farm Bureau®.