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2.2 million pounds of potatoes donated for needy

Statement issued Tuesday by Community Harvest Food Bank:

(Fort Wayne, IN) October 4, 2011 – The management team at Lennard Ag decided this year that they were going to plant and grow 40 acres of potatoes and donate all of them to food banks and pantries to help alleviate hunger. Twelve additional corporate partners and 2.2 million pounds of potatoes later, the Grow to Give program has donated potatoes to several members of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, including Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana which received 18,317 pounds of potatoes. Hoosiers in need in 23 Indiana counties will receive the donated potatoes through the agencies served by the food banks. Lennard estimates that the production from 40 acres will feed roughly four million people.

“There are families in need of food, both here and around the country. We have the ability to help and felt compelled to take action. We work with great people in this area’s ag industry and have joined together to share available resources to grow and provide nutritious potatoes to those families,” Kyle Lennard, partner in Lennard Ag, said.

“These beautiful and nutritious potatoes are a welcome treat for our clients and it is exactly what we are encouraging farmers to consider,” said Jane Avery, executive director of Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana. “Donating precious produce to area food banks whether surplus or planted specifically for that purpose is a win, win for farmers. Not only because it’s a compassionate thing to do, but also because they will receive tax benefits in doing so. As a matter of fact, at this time of year, we’re asking farmers in Northeast Indiana to please call us before you plow under. We want to help them and not let any available food go to waste!”, said Avery.

“We could not be more thankful for the donation of fresh and nutritious produce to our member food banks,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, Executive Director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry. “That the Lennards have made such a commitment to hunger relief and have devoted such time and energy to the program speaks volumes about their corporate philosophy on community and their eagerness for sharing the harvest.”

The donation comes just as new data shows more and more Hoosiers are in need. A recent report from Feeding America indicated that one in six Hoosiers are at risk for hunger, and as many as one in four Hoosier children.

Potatoes are an excellent source of nutrients. According to the United States Potato Board, one medium potato with the skin contains 45 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, 2 grams of dietary fiber, as much or more potassium than bananas, spinach or broccoli, 10 percent of the daily value of vitamin B6, trace amounts of other nutrients, and no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

About Lennard Ag Company

Lennard Ag Company is a family owned and operated farm growing potatoes and grain crops in southern Michigan and northern Indiana. Established in 1947, Lennard Ag is a three generations deep farm managed today by Kim Lennard and his children Kyle and Lori Lennard. Anchored by their strong history, Lennard Ag Company’s modern operations are complemented by their care for the land, their community and the people with whom they work. For more information about Grow to Give, visit www.lennardag.com/grow.

About Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, Inc.

Community Harvest Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in northeast Indiana, annually distributing nearly 10 million pounds of food. Community Harvest collects wholesome surplus food and grocery products donated by the food industry – products that might otherwise go to a landfill – and other donors and utilizes it for hunger relief. The food is distributed by nearly 470 churches and human service agencies in its member agency net-work, serving 21,200 unduplicated clients per week throughout its nine northeast Indiana county service area. These agencies include food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, rehabilitation centers, and youth and senior citizen programs. Community Harvest Food Bank is a member of Feeding America and Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIsH). For more information, visit www.communityharvest.org. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/CommunityHarvestFoodBank or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/ComHarvest.

About Feeding Indiana’s Hungry

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. is the statewide association of Feeding America affiliated food banks (formerly America’s Second Harvest). Our eleven member food banks serve more than 1,700 agencies in all 92 counties, providing emergency food assistance to Hoosiers in need.

Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. food banks statewide include:

  • Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Gary
  • Food Bank of Northern Indiana, South Bend
  • Food Finders Food Bank, Inc., Lafayette
  • Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, Ft. Wayne
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, Inc., Muncie
  • Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Indianapolis
  • Terre Haute Catholic Charities Foodbank, Terre Haute
  • Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Bloomington
  • Tri-State Food Bank, Inc., Evansville
  • Dare to Care Food Bank, Louisville, KY
  • Freestore Foodbank, Cincinnati, OH

For more information on Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. contact Emily Weikert Bryant at 317/396-9355 or ewbryant@feedingindianashungry.org, or view our website at www.feedingindianashungry.org. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/FeedingIndianasHungry or follow our news on Twitter at twitter.com/FeedINsHungry

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