County Farm Bureaus in Barry, Berrien, Kalamazoo — plus six more across the west-central Lower Peninsula — have made possible generous donations to a host of charitable organizations fighting hunger in their respective communities. Each donation was then augmented by Double-Up Donations: matching funds from the Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan Agent Charitable Fund (ACF).
Barry County United Way
Barry County United Way’s efforts to fight local food insecurity received a Double-Up Donation of $1,000, matching a contribution initiated by Barry County Farm Bureau. The funds will support Barry County United Way’s Fresh Food Initiative Program, which provides food to more than 200 local families every week.
Barry County Farm Bureau feels strongly about cultivating awareness and advocacy surrounding food insecurity in their community.
“The agricultural industry is all about helping your neighbor, and increased food prices have put a strain on our neighbors,” said Rachelle Lehman, administrative manager for the Barry County Farm Bureau. “We saw this as a great way to help our own community and showcase the care the Farm Bureau family has for communities across the state.”
To help fight hunger in Berrien County, the Thanks-4-Giving Program was awarded a Double-Up Donation of $1,500, matching a donation from Berrien County Farm Bureau. Thanks-4-Giving provides holiday meals to local families in need; the donation will help fill baskets for 110 families this holiday season.
Berrien County Farm Bureau believes in cultivating awareness and advocacy surrounding food insecurity and appreciates the opportunity to facilitate community partnerships to address a growing need.
“Thanks-4-Giving was created by Berrien County Farm Bureau as a way to partner with Farm Bureau Insurance agents, collegiate Farm Bureau members, FFA clubs and 4-H members,” said Jennie Koebel, the organization’s administrative manager.
Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes
An ACF Double-Up Donation of $1,004 matched a Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau donation to Loaves and Fishes, which will put the funds toward supporting local food banks.
“Kalamazoo County Farm Bureau has been donating canned goods and funds to Loaves and Fishes for years and at various events,” said Lisa Robb, the organization’s administrative manager.
West-Central Food Banks
The six county Farm Bureaus in Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, and Osceola saw ACF double their collective donation to as many local hunger-fighting groups, resulting in $2,500 for the Sears Food Pantry, God’s Kitchen Food Programs of West Michigan, Bread of Life, The Food Source at Montcalm Community College, Our Brothers Keepers, and True North: Hunger Prevention Programs to help feed their neighbors.
MFB Regional Manager Bridget Silvernail works directly with members across the region and said the effort exemplifies a passion common between those six county Farm Bureaus, collectively driven to cultivate awareness and advocacy surrounding food insecurity in their respective communities.
“This donation will be added to the proceeds from their recent annual golf outing, which also raised funds for their local food banks and pantries,” Silvernail said. “The West Central Region is excited to share these donations and help fight hunger in their communities.”
About ACF, Double-Up
So far this year a dozen organizations across Michigan have received ACF Double-Up Donations, which support county Farm Bureaus’ efforts to end hunger in their communities by matching contributions to local organizations and programs that align with the ACF mission.
County Farm Bureaus initiate the nomination and donation process, and the selected program is approved for an ACF matching donation by a committee of ACF donors based on need, population served and overall goal of the program.
ACF will award over $200,000 in grants to hunger relief organizations in 2022.
Driven by a mission to end hunger in Michigan, the ACF is a donor-designated fund administered through the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture, a 501(c)(3) governed by Michigan Farm Bureau’s board of directors and investing in the future of Michigan agriculture through leadership and educational programming.