By Dick Tremain, NRCS Iowa
There’s a little less hunger in St. Louis this summer, thanks to convention-going soil conservationists and scientists. When members of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS)preparing for their annual international conference heard about the national Feds, Farmers and Friends Feed Families (F5) food drive, they decided to help by bringing food to the St. Louis convention, where it was collected and weighed.
“We collected 250 pounds of food and donated it to the St. Patrick Center of St. Louis, which is the largest provider of homeless services in Missouri,” said Jim Gulliford, SWCS executive director. “When you consider that much of the donated food was packed in luggage and went through airport security, this is a great effort. I’m proud of our members and the success of our food drive.” SWCS is a professional society dedicated to promoting the science and art of natural resource conservation.
Gulliford credits Bonnie Allely, an exhibitor at this year’s SWCS conference, with the idea of having the organization participate. Allely is the Earth Team national volunteer liaison with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “When Bonnie contacted us about participating in the NRCS F5 food drive, we jumped at the chance. We asked the 615 people attending our conference to ‘pack for two, bring food, and help “starve” hunger in St. Louis,’” Guilliford said. Allely’s Earth Team exhibit served as the food donation collection point.
Feds, Farmers and Friends Feed Families is a national program that contributes foods to communities across the country. Allely says she handed convention attendees fliers promoting the F5 partnership. “I’m hoping this hunger-fighting effort continues when the conference-goers return home,” she said. “This is a great program.”
Want to help? Between now and August 31, 2010, NRCS, Farm Service Agency and Rural Development field offices across the country are collecting non-perishable food items that will be delivered to local area food banks. Click here to find a nearby service center.
Bonnie Allely, NRCS Earth Team national volunteer liaison, and Jim Gulliford, SWCS executive director, collected more than 250 pounds of food from SWCS conference attendees to fight hunger in St. Louis through the Feds, Farmers and Friends Feed Families food drive. Photo courtesy of SWCS.