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StewardshipEpisode 169

Harvest for Hunger helps fight food insecurity

Matthew Wilde
Jun 12, 2024

Food insecurity is a reality for many rural households and food banks are struggling to keep up with demand.

CHS farmers-owners, employees and local communities team up every year in the CHS Harvest for Hunger initiative to help address hunger. In early 2024, Harvest for Hunger raised nearly $500,000 and collected food to support local food banks and nonprofit organizations fighting hunger. Since 2011, CHS Harvest for Hunger has donated nearly $8.5 million and more than 4 million pounds of food.

Tom Lehar, co-chair of the 2024 Harvest for Hunger campaign, says CHS is dedicated to strengthening rural communities.

“We’re committed to helping rural communities where we live and work,” he says.

Cooperative spirit

Rural food banks have come to rely on Harvest for Hunger contributions and often assist with local campaigns, Lehar says. In 2011, when the charitable initiative started, $1 would provide seven meals. Today, $1 only provides two meals.

“The cost of feeding those in need has gone up and the demand has gone up as well,” he says. “Many CHS employees donate time to help at food banks as well.”

Rural America isn’t immune to battling food insecurity. The desire to help neighbors in need drives campaign success, Lehar says.

“One of the core values of CHS is cooperative spirit,” he continues. “Harvest for Hunger fits right into the CHS culture and commitment to our rural communities.”

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