Tractor Encourages $35,000 in Donations for River Bend Foodbank PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Not-for-Profit News
Written by Jennifer Schroder   
Thursday, 24 April 2014 13:08

“60-Day Hunger Drive” provides one million meals to alleviate hunger across Illinois and western Indiana

Annawan, Ill. – Since it was commissioned in January, a 60-year-old red tractor has traveled more than 1,300 miles and raised $35,192 for the River Bend Foodbank. Caren Laughlin, Director of Marketing at River Bend Foodbank accepted the donation during a presentation at Birkey’s Annawan, Ill., location on Wednesday, April 23.

For two months, the restored Farmall Super MTA tractor served as an inventive for donations: individuals who gave $10 or more were entered into a drawing to win it. The tractor visited 12 Birkey’s Farm Store locations from Feb. 3 to April 4 as part of the company’s 60-Day Hunger Drive.

“This is an incredible effort on the part of Birkey’s and its customers and we are very grateful,” says Tom Laughlin, executive director of River Bend Foodbank. “Unfortunately the need for emergency food assistance in our outer counties continues to grow and families face tough decisions such as choosing between paying bills and buying food. The support from Birkey’s will make a big difference in helping our neighbors in need.”

The River Bend Foodbank received donations from 6 Birkey’s stores, including Henry, Macomb, Galesburg, Polo, Prophetstown, and Annawan. Proceeds from each Birkey’s location will be allocated to agencies in that store’s local community.

More than 3,000 individuals and seven food banks participated in the drive, which raised $167,000 in donations—enough for one million meals.

“I am so proud of the way our employees worked together to contribute to neighbors in need,” says Mike Hedge, President and CEO of Birkey’s. “We hope that this donation will have a big impact, but we know that the need will continue long after our drive is over. We are grateful for the food banks’ efforts to alleviate hunger year-round.”

In the 47 counties served by Birkey’s Farm Stores, Inc., more than 286,000 people are not able to access a nutritious meal when they want it, and one in five children is food insecure. Food banks selected to benefit from the drive were all part of the Feeding America network.

Ross Cluver of Buckley, Ill., won the tractor in the official drawing on Thursday, April 10.

Champaign-based Birkey’s has locations throughout central and northern Illinois, and in western Indiana. The event is part of the company’s 60th anniversary celebration.
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