MIAMI COUNTY — A kernel of kindness goes a long way when farmers from around Miami County donate grain through the Bushels for Hunger program which benefits local food pantries.
At the Mennel Milling’s Troy Elevator on Wednesday, the Miami County Farm Bureau presented checks to Greene Street United Methodist Church, Bradford Resource Center and Covington Outreach Association. Farmers can donate bushels at Troy Elevator and Rudy Inc. elevators in West Milton and Covington for the program throughout harvest season.
Miami County Farm Bureau President Bill Wilkins said the Bushels for Hunger program has thrived for nine years thanks to the generosity of local farmers right at the elevator scales.
“Whether it’s one bushel, 10 or 100, every little bit helps. We couldn’t do this program if it wasn’t for the farmers and their generosity,” Wilkins said.
Greene Street United Methodist Church volunteer Nancy Brogden accepted a check for $1,454.76 for their food pantry program in Piqua. Brogden said the pantry, which has operated for more than 20 years, serves approximately 150 people a month.
Bradford Resource Center volunteers Mary Alice Yount and Debby Jess accepted a donation of $1,495.91 for their food pantry and outreach program. Yount estimates the BRC helps 200 families per year including their Christmas program.
“Every penny or every can (of food) counts,” Yount said.
Volunteer Linda Gephart accepted the Covington Outreach Association donation of $1,498.34 for their program, which serves residents in the Covington School District. Gephart shared the food pantry serves approximately 100 to 150 families a year.
“We appreciate this,” Gephart said. “It’s a great idea. It’s always welcome. I think it’s really neat the farmers are able to do this. Whether it’s a bushel or an acre or half acre, it helps.”
A check for $502.82 was presented to the Health Partners Free Clinic from its acre of profits from the 2017 harvest season. The donation of seed, fertilizer and labor was made by Dwayne Taylor of Casstown. Rudy Inc. also donates proceeds from an acre of its property to the program.
The Miami County Park District also sets aside four acres to benefit the program. Coy Hiegel of Hiegel Farms plants for the park district’s program; David Demmitt of Demmitt Dairy Farms harvests the acres; and President Wilkins of Wilkins Family Farms donates the seed, chemical, and fertilizer for the park district’s Bushels for Hunger program.
Dwayne Taylor donates the seed, chemical and fertilizer, as well as plants and harvests the field at the Health Partners Free Clinic.
Miami County Farm Bureau Organizational Director Melinda Lee explained how the Bushels for Hunger program donates the price per bushel toward local food pantries in Miami County along with Farm Bureau and other supporters. It is the ninth year for the program.