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Heartland United Way food drive thrives at Husker Harvest Days 2023Heartland United Way food drive thrives at Husker Harvest Days 2023

Donations from FFA members, plus local collection at grocery stores, support rural communities.

Farm Progress staff

October 19, 2023

1 Min Read
Husker Harvest Days food drive
Food donated at Husker Harvest Days in 2023, was collected and distributed to backpack programs, as well as food pantries.Digital Sky Productions

Husker Harvest Days, in partnership with the Heartland United Way, continues its tradition of supporting an annual food drive in Grand Island, Neb. For this year’s event, FFA members from across the state donated a minimum of five nonperishable food items and received free entry to the show. In addition, the food drive extended to local grocery stores in Hall, Hamilton, Merrick and Howard counties during the show week.

The 2023 food drive resulted in 15,101 pounds of food, supporting 22 backpack programs and food pantries across the four counties.

“The food collected is so important to local backpack programs, shelter meal providers and local food pantries to help ensure people have access to food,” said Karen Rathke, President of Heartland United Way.

At collection sites, including Super Saver, Hy-Vee, MNO Market, Whitefoot Market, Hometown Market and Kerry’s Grocery, people could donate to cover groceries pre-bagged with items selected to meet the needs of the area. Heartland United Way then picked up the donations, making it convenient for donors and further supporting backpack programs by providing families with easily preparable food.  

“We are committed to creating a world free of hunger,” said Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress National Events Director. “Husker Harvest Days is an opportunity to support that mission locally in the state of Nebraska. We are honored to partner with the United Way and FFA to serve the food insecure in rural America.”

To learn more about Heartland United Way and to donate, visit heartlandunitedway.org. Save the date for Husker Harvest Days 2024, September 10-12 in Grand Island, Neb. For more information and to keep up to date on next year’s event, visit huskerharvestdays.com.

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