Land O'Lakes Foundation donates $150,000 to FFA to fight hunger
The Land O'Lakes Foundation will donate $150,000 to Indianapolis-area food-relief services over the next three years to help fight domestic and global hunger. Land O'Lakes and Purina Animal Nutrition LLC also received the Distinguished Service Citation from the National FFA Organization.
The donation was announced in conjunction with FFA Rally to Fight Hunger, held today during the first day of the 2012 National FFA Convention and Expo, Oct. 24-26. During the event, about 10,000 FFA members and volunteers from across the country will pack one million meals to distribute through Gleaners Food Bank in Indianapolis and the other half will be shipped overseas for distribution in Haiti. The National FFA Organization—formerly Future Farmers of America—works with agricultural education students to develop their leadership potential, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.
Also at the FFA National Convention, Purina Animal Nutrition, a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O'Lakes, was honored with the FFA Distinguished Service Citation recognizing the business' 60 years of supporting agricultural education and leadership and the National FFA Convention and Expo.
"We are honored to receive the FFA Distinguished Service Citation," said Lydia Botham, executive director of the Land O'Lakes Foundation. "Land O'Lakes knows the importance of partnering with tomorrow's agribusiness leaders to help them gain experience, continue America's proud heritage of farming and the industry's ongoing commitment to address hunger issues. We also know the critical need to educate FFA members about the causes and effects of hunger and to engage their tremendous energy to fight hunger on local and global levels.
"The Foundation's donation of $150,000 over the next three years is another example of Land O'Lakes' commitment to helping communities feed people who would otherwise struggle to put food on the table," Botham said. "The need for one million meals—and the fact that they will be used quickly—illustrates the depth and breadth of the hunger problem in our country and world. Land O'Lakes is committed to working with organizations such as FFA and through our farmer-members to help alleviate hunger in our communities."
Through the Feeding Our Communities initiative announced in 2011, Land O'Lakes donated more than $550,000 to organizations dedicated to hunger relief. That same year, the First Run program donated about 600,000 of fresh product made specifically for donation.
This summer, the Land O'Lakes Foundation worked with FFA students who donated almost 105,000 servings of fresh produce to food shelves across the country. In its second year, the Land O'Lakes Answer Plot® Community Garden Program more than doubled the 39,000 servings of fresh produce grown during the summer of 2011. The 2012 Answer Plot® Community Gardens were located in Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. To help each location get its garden started, the Land O'Lakes Foundation gave each FFA chapter a $1,200 grant and a toolkit to assist with its plot with support from WinField Agronomists and local cooperatives.