Fourteen Champaign County farmers gathered in a north Champaign farm field on a windy, chilly November afternoon to change the lives of thousands of their neighbors.
33,340 people in Champaign County are food insecure - that's 16.3% of the population. Through Farmers Feeding Families, United Way focuses on reducing hunger and its associated health issues.
For the past four years, Sage Farms has planted corn and beans on behalf of United Way. They work with their suppliers to get seed, fertilizer, and more donated, so all of the profits go directly to local food programs. And this year, they brought more local farmers into the fold. Thanks to some exceptional teamwork, the harvest was complete within an hour and a half - all eighty acres!
The proceeds from the sale of the crops will go to five local food programs. This effort has increased United Way's support to local food programs by 31%.
Farmers Feeding Families has made a huge impact in our community:
- 91,210 meals provided by food pantries
- 50,000 home delivered & congregate meals for senior citizens
- Eliminated the waiting list for a rural home-delivered senior meal program
- 400 low income families recieved fresh vegetables in the summertime
- Dozens of local kids took part in a nutrition and gardening program
- Four teenagers had summer jobs that can lead to a career in agriculture
Thank you to Sage Farms and all who participated in this year's Farmers Feeding Families program.