The Utah Farm Bureau Federation is launching the ‘Farmers Feeding Utah’ campaign, FarmersFeedingUtah.org, to help sustain farmers and ranchers impacted by Covid-19, while providing food and donations to Utah families in need.

The campaign was launched in partnership with Utah State University’s ‘Hunger Solutions Institute’, other hunger relief organizations and the Utah Department of Agriculture & Food (UDAF).

“The mission of the Utah Farm Bureau is to inspire all Utah families to connect, succeed, and grow through the ‘Miracle of Agriculture’, and that’s what we’re hoping to do today,” said Ron Gibson, president of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, the state’s largest general farm and ranch organization. “We’re encouraging all Utahns to help grow a miracle by donating to the ‘Farmers Feeding Utah’ campaign, so we can keep our state’s farm and ranch families producing the local food we all need, and also feed the growing number of families in need.”

The campaign includes a crowd-funding component, where interested individuals, organizations, and private companies can donate funds via the campaign website: FarmersFeedingUtah.org

“This program will help meet two important goals. The first is that it will help our farmers and ranchers stay in business at a time when many have seen markets for products either disappear or reduce dramatically. The second goal is that we will reduce disruptions in the supply chain locally and get food to families that really need it,” Gibson said. “As a state, we really need to step up to make sure our local food production stays intact. Once we lose a farm, it’s gone forever. The time is now to step up and keep farmers and ranchers producing local food.”

One hundred percent of donations will go to purchasing, processing and distributing locally-sourced food from Utah’s farmers and ranchers to families in need.

“We are excited to be a partner with ‘Farmers Feeding Utah’. It aligns perfectly with the work we do to provide food access to Utah families and individuals.  I love the plan of the organization: deliver locally-sourced commodities that hungry Utahns need through donations and purchases,” said Heidi LeBlanc, Hunger Solutions Institute Director.  “It helps address Utah’s food insecurity and hunger needs. Connecting food with hungry people will change our future. It will change the economic, health and educational condition of our youth.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been disruptions in the food supply chain model as relationships that delivered food from farm-to-fork have been altered. Despite the need from families, adjustments have taken time and resulted in food being unable to find markets and retail stores placing purchasing limits. In an effort to avoid food waste and help those in need, Utah’s farmers and ranchers are working together with partners to get food where it needs to go.

“With record-breaking numbers of families needing help during this unprecedented time, connecting them with our state’s agriculture families and the local food they produce just makes sense,” said Logan Wilde, UDAF Commissioner. “We think this is a great way to keep our valuable industry going and reduce the gaps in our food supply chain.”

The Utah Farm Bureau will work with its farmers and ranchers to determine surplus food capacity, and local food processors to reduce bottlenecks in production. From there, the Farm Bureau will work with its food distribution partners to identify food needs and the best ways to meet those.

Those wanting to contribute can do so by visiting FarmersFeedingUtah.org, where they can find a variety of ways to donate.