By Julie Johansen
As the nation was struggling from the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers and ranchers found themselves with no place to sell their products. Restaurants, school lunchrooms and eating establishments were mostly closed or had limited business. Families were losing their jobs as well as struggling with food insecurities. In response, Utah Farm Bureau organized a non-profit organization to help out both situations.
It is called Farmers Feeding Utah. It was launched as a campaign to receive donations to buy food from the farmers and ranchers and give the food to the families in need. Thus, it could sustain farmers and feed those in need.
“The mission of the Utah Farm Bureau is to inspire all Utah families to connect, succeed and grow through the miracle of agriculture,” the Utah Farm Bureau president stated.
This program has connected with many communities throughout Utah, including a large shipment of sheep and flour to the Navajo Nation earlier this year. This was done in cooperation with Utah State University’s program.
Recently, Brett Behling, Farm Bureau Executive Director, addressed the Emery County Commission to introduce teachers and students from San Rafael Middle School (SRMS) who wished to be involved with these service projects. Teachers Angelina Behling and Ty Horrocks from the history department at the school, along with SRMS Principal Doug Mecham, spoke about the positive impact this would have on the students involved as well as their observing peers.
The students explained the program to the Emery County Commissioners and requested a donation to fund their efforts. They were given $23,000, not to exceed $25,000. This was funded through CARES Act money.
The organization will be distributing food to families in Castle Dale at the recreation center and in Green River at the city park. Both distributions will take place on Wednesday, March 31.