Wethersfield, Connecticut (February 7, 2017) In a year when the lack of rainfall caused challenges for farmers, Connecticut Farm Bureau member farms donated 698,952 pounds of excess produce, vegetables and milk between November 1, 2015 and October 31, 2016. These numbers are tracked according to reports provided by Foodshare and Connecticut Food Bank.
Connecticut Farm Bureau has encouraged its member farms to develop relationships with these hunger-fighting organizations to share any abundance of crops so it is not wasted. The amount donated has nearly doubled in two years, and last year these donations topped the half million pound mark at 505,771 pounds.
"This is an impressive increase in donations," said CFBA President Don Tuller. "I know that the drought this summer cut back on the corn crop on my own farm so the yield just wasn't as high. For so many farms to make a point to donate their excess food to these food security organizations is really heart-warming. Farmers are generous, family oriented people who care about their neighbors. This really shows that everyone in Connecticut benefits from a robust farming sector.
"Plus," he added, "these numbers do not account for the many donations that Farm Bureau member gardeners and other farm members may also make directly to their local municipal or church-run food banks and soup kitchens which go un-recorded."
The donating farms represent all types and sizes of farm operations across the state. The donor farms include Belltown Hill Orchards of South Glastonbury, Berruti Orchard of Glastonbury, Bishop's Orchards of Guilford, Blue Hills Orchard of Wallingford, Botticello Farms, LLC of Manchester, Bussa Orchards of South Glastonbury, Bushy Hill/Clark Farm of Granby, Cecarelli Farm of Northford, The Farmer's Cow of Lebanon, Fair Weather Acres of Rocky Hill, Ferrari Farm of South Glastonbury, Futtner's Family Farm of East Hartford, Gresczyk Farm of New Hartford, Grouten Farm of Farmington, Hayward Farm of New Hartford, High Hill Orchard of Meriden, Horton Farm of South Glastonbury, Jones Family Farm of Shelton, Lyman Orchards of Middlefield, Maple Lane Farms of Cheshire, Mitlitsky Eggs of Lebanon, Mountain Dairy of Storrs, Norton Brothers Fruit Farm of Cheshire, Oxen Hill Farm of Suffield and East Granby, Reichle Farms of South Windsor, Rose's Berry Farm of South Glastonbury, Stone Gardens Farm of Shelton, Tulmeadow Farm of West Simsbury and Andrew Urbanowicz of Suffield.
There are no tax incentives in Connecticut for food donations by farmers, but federal law changes in late 2015 now make it possible for smaller food donors to qualify for some tax benefit