Statewide food drive launched
State leaders, including Gov. Sam Brownback and Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman, participated in a friendly competition at Harvester's-The Community Food Network to launch the "Neighbor to Neighbor" month-long, statewide food drive to reduce hunger in Kansas communities.
The food drive, which is jointly hosted by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Dillon's Food Stores, Harvesters-The Community Food Network, the Kansas Food Bank, the Second Harvest Community Food Bank and the Kansas agricultural community, will culminate on Kansas Agriculture Day, March 19. The groups hope to raise 50,000 meals for Kansas families during the drive. Kansans can contribute to the campaign at Dillon's Food Stores statewide or at other locations in communities across the state.
"Across Kansas, I am always amazed at the generosity our citizens show to their neighbors in need," Brownback said. "This food drive gives them an opportunity to help their fellow Kansans, to reduce hunger across the state and to support our state's farmers and ranchers. When you are shopping for groceries for your family this month, I encourage you to take part in this important campaign. While one food drive won't end hunger in Kansas, together, we can make a difference."
Brownback teamed up with staff from the food banks to compete against Rodman and his team of representatives from Dillon's Food Stores. The teams boxed food items for Kansas senior citizens in need. The Kansas State FFA officer team and representatives from Kansas agricultural organizations were also on hand for the event. Brownback's team put together 109 boxes in 15 minutes; however, Rodman's team was able to fill 176 boxes in that same amount of time.
"The Neighbor to Neighbor food drive can help us reduce hunger in Kansas but it also gives us a chance to say thank you to our state's farmers and ranchers," Rodman said. "Today's farmers and ranchers work 365 days a year to raise food to feed your family and mine. They work to continuously improve their practices to raise safe, wholesome food. About 30 years ago, one farmer fed approximately 56 people. Today, one farmer feeds 155 people. I hope all Kansans will join us in this important effort to help our neighbors and will also take a minute to say thank you to the men and women who raised that food."
At the kick-off event, Dillon's food stores made an initial donation of 8,000 pounds of non-perishable food items. To learn more about the campaign, visit agriculture.ks.gov/neighbortoneighbor.