SANDY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Utah Farm Bureau is launching “Farmers Feeding Utah” campaign Thursday to help sustain farmers and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program aims to raise funds to sustain farmers impacted and supply families and food organizations with donations. The campaign was launched in partnership with Utah State University’s “Hunger Solutions Institute”, other hunger relief organizations, and the Utah Department of Agriculture & Food.

“The mission of the Utah Farm Bureau is to inspire all Utah families to connect, succeed, and grow through the ‘Miracle of Agriculture’, and that’s what we’re hoping to do today,” said Ron Gibson, president of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, the state’s largest general farm and ranch organization. “We’re encouraging all Utahns to help grow a miracle by donating to the ‘Farmers Feeding Utah’ campaign, so we can keep our state’s farm and ranch families producing the local food we all need, and also feed the growing number of families in need.”

The campaign will include a crowd-funding component, where interested individuals, organizations, and private companies can donate funds on the campaign website.

“This program will help meet two important goals. The first is that it will help our farmers and ranchers stay in business at a time when many have seen markets for products either disappear or reduce dramatically. The second goal is that we will reduce disruptions in the supply chain locally and get food to families that really need it,” Gibson said. “As a state, we really need to step up to make sure our local food production stays intact. Once we lose a farm, it’s gone forever. The time is now to step up and keep farmers and ranchers producing local food.”

Utah Farm Bureau officials said one hundred percent of donations will go to purchasing, processing, and distributing locally-sourced food from Utah’s farmers and ranchers to families in need.

The Utah Farm Bureau said they will work with its farmers and ranchers to determine surplus food capacity, and local food processors to reduce bottlenecks in production. From there, the Farm Bureau will work to identify food needs and how to meet them.

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