Texas Farm Bureau and county Farm Bureaus donated $262,197 to community food and emergency relief efforts

A long list of people and organizations needing help received some assistance through these donations

WACO, Texas – After February’s winter storm, Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) and county Farm Bureaus, through the Helping Hands co-op contribution program, donated $262,197 to community food and emergency relief efforts.

The State of Texas experienced a tough start to the year when the storm blew through Texas. Texans were still recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and resources were scarce. The list of people and organizations needing help after the record-breaking winter storm was long.

Established by TFB, the Helping Hands program, which lasted from Feb. 18 to April 30,  aimed to meet several needs in communities across the state.

“This unprecedented weather event brought new hardships to Texans who were already struggling with loss of employment, fewer resources available and other issues related to the pandemic,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “This program assisted county Farm Bureaus in lending a helping hand to the local communities.”

During 2020 and 2021, TFB and country Farm Bureaus donated a total of $815,996 in community food and emergency relief efforts. In 2020, donations were given through Feeding the Need and Feeding Texas co-op contribution programs.

TFB provided a 2-to-1 match for county Farm Bureau contributions through the Helping Hands program. These funds went up to $750 for any qualified donation. Organizations that provide food and shelter or respond to other basic needs were a priority, as well as other non-profits that were impacted by this historic weather event.

Donations from a total of 123 county Farm Bureaus participating in the program amounted to $98,384 and went directly to local food and emergency relief entities. To further increase the impact of the statewide program, TFB matched with $163,813.

“This program put the decision of how best to make an impact in the hands of county Farm Bureaus to maximize the co-op contribution from the state organization,” Boening said. “Our county organizations and Farm Bureau members stepped up to help provide assistance in a time of high demand.”

Other organizations that received donations from the county Farm Bureaus were Meal on Wheels, food pantries, volunteer fire departments and a weekend snack program for kids. Community and charitable groups also received donations from some county Farm Bureaus throughout Texas.

Donations came in different forms and amounts. County leaders volunteered their time and figured logistics for donations, as well.

“We’re proud our county Farm Bureaus and state organization could lend a hand during these trying times. Farm Bureau considers itself one big family, and we set out to help as many folks as we could during this time of need—just like family would do,” Boening said. “Farm Bureau’s commitment to agriculture and communities has never wavered during a time of need, including Winter Storm Uri and the ongoing pandemic.”