Farm to Food Bank Utah Farm Bureau

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<ul><li><p>12 Utah Farm Bureau News Special Edition | COUNTRYSIDE | Winter 2015</p><p>FARM TO FOOD BANK: HOW FARMERS CAN FEED UTAHS HUNGRY</p><p>By Mariesa Bergin | Executive Assistant, Utah Farm Bureau Federation</p></li><li><p>Winter 2015 | COUNTRYSIDE | Utah Farm Bureau News Special Edition 13</p><p>them know you have items to donate. These infrequent donations are often the most costly items for a person to acquire on a limited budget. </p><p>The Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank and the Utah Farm Bureau are challenging individuals throughout the state to participate in addressing this need by making a plan to support their local food pantry in the coming year. </p><p>Below are 7 ways to fill your local pantry with fresh food in this coming year:</p><p>1.PLANTADESIGNATEDFOODBANKROWINYOURGARDENIf you already have a garden or farm, why not add one more row and donate it? Pantries will accept produce in any quantity. Even if you only have a small bag of tomatoes or zucchini, its better to share it with someone who will eat it rather than toss it after sitting on the counter, untouched, for several weeks.</p><p>2.FARMSTANDEXTRAS:DONATETHEMMany Farm Bureau members participate in a farmers marketor farm stand. Put your pantry on speed-dial for those weekswhen you have more than you know what to do with. Youcan arrange a drop-off or a pick-up for anything that isntgoing to make it to the following weeks market.</p><p>3.RAISEANANIMALFOR4-HORFFAANDDONATETHEMEATWeber Countys Tanner Neeley donated his 4-H steer to theJoyce Hansen Hall Food Bank in 2010. He was in 5th gradeat the time and was able to stock the shelves of the pantryfor two weeks with fresh meat. Neeley has continued todonate a steer each year since 2010 (he is now a senior inhigh school) and has inspired local cattle ranchers to donatesteers in order to support his effort. Pantries can redistributemeat that has been professionally processed.</p><p>4.MAKEATRADEFEEDYOURPIGFORFREE,ANDDONATESOMEMEATEven food banks receive food that they cant redistribute.They fill crates each week with food that is unsafe for human</p><p>The most important goal of ours at the food bank, aside from helping our clients meet their most basic needs, is to create an environment of dignity and respect, said Rebecca Van Maren, volunteer coordinator of Catholic Community Services who manages the Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank of Northern Utah.</p><p>Van Maren eagerly offered a tour through the facility that feeds 2,300 hungry families in northern Utah every month. She breezed through statistics about Utahs food insecurities: </p><p> 1 in 5 Utah children is unsure of where their next meal willcome from</p><p> 1 in 7 Utahns is at risk of missing a meal today 15% of Utahs population is food insecure</p><p>Then she walked into the pantry full of groceries and stopped to take in the sight. </p><p>The Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bankone of more than 100 food pantries in the stateidentifies itself as a client-choice pantry. On any given Monday through Thursday, the room is filled with children, adults, and teenagers pushing shopping carts and selecting items they need. </p><p>This, she reiterated, is what an environment of dignity and respect looks like. In a client-choice pantry, they get to choose what they will eat, not us.</p><p>The only thing missing in the miniature grocery store is a cash register. Individuals from any part of northern Utah can shop in the pantry for free after verifying their income is within 150% of the federal poverty line, or $36,000 for a family of four. </p><p>One particularly eye-catching section of the store was an aisle filled with large bins of fresh produce and refrigerators of donated meat and cheese. Gossner Foods, Black Island Farm, and Pettingills labels on the products indicated the food was donated by local Utah farmers. A volunteer pointed out how excited clients become when they are able to take home fresh cuts of meat and produce. </p><p>There is a common misconception that food banks are unable to accept perishable items. This is not true. Items like frozen meat, tomatoes from a home garden or milk from a dairy farm are some of the most nutritious and least common items found on food pantry shelves. Pantries and food banks can accept perishable donations from anyone, and often will even come to you to pick them up if you let </p><p>If you already have a garden or farm, why not add one more row and donate it?</p></li><li><p>Audrey and Rodney Carver of Weber County Farm Bureau drop their prices for any customer who visits their farm with a can of food.</p><p>We put all of the food in a giant sleigh that kids see when they come into the petting zoo. We get to teach them about agriculture and about the importance of sharing what we have with others who dont have enough, said Audrey as she described why they have kept up the tradition for so long.</p><p>Thirty percent of food bank donations come from indi-viduals in the community, and the need is constant. You are a part of a community! As the holidays approach, we invite you to think about how you can be a part of the solution by giving back this year. </p><p>To find a food pantry near you, visit utahfoodbank.org/find-a-food-pantry. If you are interested in volunteering or scheduling a donation to the Joyce Hansen Hall Food Bank or another food bank, you can contact Rebecca Van Maren at rvanmaren@ccsutah.org or (801) 428-1296. </p><p>14 Utah Farm Bureau News Special Edition | COUNTRYSIDE | Winter 2015</p><p>consumption, but perfect for livestock! A farmer in northern Utah picks up rejected food from the food bank each week to feed his livestock, then donates the harvest of one pig at the end of each season. Its a win-win.</p><p>5.FREEZERFULLOFLASTHUNTINGSEASONSKILL?If you struck gold while hunting last season and are thinking about buying an extra freezer to pile all of that elk meat into, think again! Donate a portion instead. The food bank will provide their clients with recipes for how to cook game, and youll save yourself a few hundred dollars. However, pantries can only accept game if it was packaged in a USDA-approved facility.</p><p>6.COMMUNITY/CLASSROOMGARDENMicrogrants are popping up all over the country to sup-port urban agriculture. Why not teach your students about agriculture while giving them an opportunity to serve their community? Even if you are only able to donate a few bags of produce, it will be a learning experience that your students will never forget.</p><p>Utah Farm Bureau, Ag in the Classroom, and USU Extension have resources available to help get your student garden off the ground. Companies that have given grants to local school gardens include Lowes, various Rotary Clubs, Whole Foods, and SlowFood Utah.</p><p>7.USEYOURAGRITOURISMBUSINESSTOPROMOTEAFOODDRIVECarvers Cove Petting Farm of Eden, Utah, has held a food drive each year for seven years to celebrate the fall harvest. </p></li></ul>