The Kansas Legislature competed in a food drive at the Statehouse in recognition of Kansas Agriculture Week. The House of Representatives won the friendly food drive competition with the Senate, collecting 281 pounds of food and raising $902 in cash and check donations. This is the equivalent of 4,726 meals. Some members even donated meat from animals they raised and had harvested at U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected meat packing plants.
The Kansas Senate provided the equivalent of 2,778 meals, raising $550 in cash and check donations and collecting 36 pounds of food. Separate from the competition, employees at the Kansas Department of Agriculture collected another 158 pounds of food, the equivalent of 122 meals.
Collectively, 7,626 meals will be provided to individuals from the food and fund drive.
"Kansas farmers and ranchers work hard every day to put wholesome, affordable food on the table of people in Kansas and around the world," said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman. "This food drive was a great way for legislators to give back by putting agriculture products in the hands of those that need them most."
All the food and money donated went to the Topeka chapter of Harvesters—The Community Food Network, with the exceptions of legislators who requested their donations be sent to food banks in their home communities.
"Your efforts during Kansas Agriculture Week will make a significant difference to people in need of food," said Jannett Wiens, Constituent Relationship Manager with Harvesters—The Community Food Network. "Nearly 66,000 people in our 26-county region require emergency food assistance every week, and fully half of those recipients are children and seniors."
The food drive took place during Kansas Agriculture Week, from March 4-11. Other Kansas Agriculture Week events included a Governor's proclamation, a social media campaign and agriculture-related announcements in schools across the state.