Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau president, wearing a #StillFarming T-shirt.

WASHINGTON — COVID-19 shutdowns last year caused disruptions to the food supply chain, resulting in empty grocery shelves in parts of the country. When alarmed Americans resorted to panic purchasing, Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall says the organization created #StillFarming social media campaign to build public confidence in the food supply.

“Hashtag Still Farming gave us a platform to assure the consumer that we would continue to be out in the fields, in the barns, taking care of the animals and producing the food for this country and a lot of the world,” Duvall. “And little did we know after the state Farm Bureaus picked it up and started running with it, we have touched over 100 million people with that hashtag.”

Now, Duvall says the farm bureau federation is taking the next step in the effort, supporting those in need.

“And we’re going to make sure that the ones in our country that may not have enough food to eat, we’re going to try to help generate some more funds to help feed some of those hungry people. So, the next step in #StillFarming is we’re going to sell T-shirts,” he says.

Half of the T-shirt profits will go toward Feeding America, one of the country’s  largest network of food banks. The remaining half will go toward the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture to teach kids where their food comes from, according to American Farm Bureau Foundation Executive Director Daniel Meloy.

Feeding America’s Elizabeth Marquardt says COVID-19 has forced many more families to turn to food banks.

“This support is more vital than ever,” Marquart says. “Our projections at Feeding America show that food insecurity has increased by about 50 percent as a result of the economic pain of COVID-19. Because of partners like Farm Bureau, our network of food banks across the country is able to provide nutritious food to families to help get them through this crisis.”

Nationally, 1 in 9 people struggle with hunger, including 2.2 million rural households. In Missouri, that number is 1 in 8.

You can purchase a #StillFarming T-shirt by clicking here.