COLUMBIA, Mo.– 4-H members are seeking donations from Missouri farmers for the Invest an Acre program as part of a 4-H Revolution of Responsibility campaign to find solutions to hunger through community service.
More than one in five children in Missouri do not have enough nutritious food to eat, and 4-H members want to change this, says University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth development specialist Steve Henness.
“When children do not have enough to eat, their health and well-being are affected, which also puts them at greater risk academically,” said Henness. “4-H youth are inviting farmers and their communities to join in the fight because we know hunger is really not a game.”
4-H clubs are reaching out to promote the Invest an Acre program and fight hunger through efforts ranging from hosting meals and display booths, speaking at farmer meetings and passing out snacks at grain elevators to organizing food drives and constructing and planting community gardens.
Invest an Acre sponsors say efforts by 4-H and other partnering organizations are key to making the program accessible to “any Missouri farmer, any location, any time.”
Farmers can make an Invest an Acre donation from the proceeds of their harvest at the grain elevator where they do business. Pledge cards can be filled out at any time during the growing season, at harvest or at the time of delivery to the elevator.
Elevators receive tax-deductible donations from farmers and send them to Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks. Every dollar donated by farmers goes back to the food bank serving the multi-county region where they live, including the food pantries in their communities.
The Invest an Acre program is sponsored by ADM, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Monsanto and Feeding America. Missouri ADM elevators can process donations in Audrain, Knox, Lewis, Linn, New Madrid, Ralls, Shelby, St. Louis, Stoddard and Vernon counties.
Monsanto has committed to match Invest an Acre farmer donations nationally dollar-for-dollar, up to $675,000 this year.
The Missouri Agribusiness Association, Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri Farmers Care and the Missouri Food Bank Association are promoting the program to give more farmers opportunities to participate. Any grain elevator can receive and process Invest an Acre donations with a letter printed from the website.
For more information, please visit www.investanacre.org or 4h.missouri.edu/programs/hunger.
4-H is a community of more than 300,000 youth ages 5-18 from rural farming communities, suburban schoolyards and urban neighborhoods across Missouri. Missouri 4-H members are guided by more than 10,000 caring adult volunteers. University of Missouri Extension 4-H is the youth development program of the nation’s Cooperative Extension System.