SALEM, Ore. (July 19, 2013) — Farmers Ending Hunger — an organization that delivers high-quality food to Oregon communities through a partnership of farmers, processors, the Oregon Food Bank, and the public – has received a donation of $5,000 from CoBank on behalf of Erik “Rick” Jacobson, a member of the cooperative bank’s Board of Directors.
Farmers Ending Hunger was founded in 2005 to help eliminate hunger in Oregon, where one in five people rely on food stamps. Many of the state’s farmers and ranchers donate a portion of their harvest each year to help the cause. Some of the produce is processed then packaged, while some is delivered fresh to Oregon Food Bank, which distributes the food throughout the state to the people who need it most.
The organization is one of the biggest contributors to the food bank and hunger relief in the state. Ranchers and farmers have donated about 2 million pounds of harvested goods annually to the effort. The organization hopes to double that in the near future.
“Cash donations, including this generous contribution from CoBank, help us defray some of the costs of processing, storing and transporting the vegetables, grain and meat,” said John Burt, executive director of Farmers Ending Hunger. “The number of people using food banks has continued to increase by double digits, and we’re dedicated to the effort to help stem the ongoing need. This all begins with the farmers who stepped right up when they understood the need.”
CoBank’s Jacobson is the retired president and chief executive officer of NORPAC Foods, Inc., an international fruit and vegetable processing and marketing cooperative. He lives in Bend, Oregon, and operates RG Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm. He previously served as a director for Food Alliance, a sustainability certification organization, and Oregonians for Food and Shelter, a farm and forestry legislative advocacy organization.
“Year after year, Oregon has one of the highest levels of need in the nation, and CoBank is happy to be able to support this collaboration that provides fresh, healthy food for those who are unable to afford it,” said Jacobson, a founding board member of Farmers Ending Hunger. “We’re proud to support the organization and the generous community of farmers that is addressing the problem.”
Jacobson is now serving as general manager for Pendleton Grain Growers in Pendleton, Oregon. The Oregon Wheat League, which is a major contributor to Farmers Ending Hunger, is made up of many members from Pendleton Grain Growers.
The contribution is part of CoBank’s corporate giving program, which allows employees and board members to direct bank donations to their choice of non-profit organizations and programs. Through the program, CoBank donated more than $1.2 million last year to benefit local communities where its employees and directors live and work.
CoBank is a $95 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving approximately 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.
CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture and the nation’s rural economy.
Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.
For more information about CoBank, visit the bank’s web site at www.cobank.com