The CSU College of Agriculture is working to do its part in the fight against hunger.
The university recently donated 3,500 pounds of dry pinto beans to the Larimer and Weld County food banks. The beans and other recent fresh food donations have been made possible by research done to improve crop varieties, according to Coleman Cornelius, the director of communications of the College of Agriculture.
“I personally felt proud that our students and researchers were harvesting this food and providing it to families in need,” Cornelius said of the donations made this past growing season.
The beans were grown on 19 acres for Dr. Mark Brick’s Dry Bean Breeding Project at CSU’s Agricultural Research, Development and Education Center (ARDEC) located north of Fort Collins. Brick is a professor in the soil and crop science department.
Brick and his team began making their annual donation nearly 20 years ago. Geoff Upson, a grad student in the mid-90s, suggested that they donate a portion of their crop rather than plow it under and allow it to go to waste each season, Brick explained.
This year, the beans were made available for donation through the work of Brick and Barry Ogg, a colleague. The two enlisted help to have the beans harvested and then cleaned by Northern Feed and Bean in Lucerne, Colo. to insure the beans were ready for consumption, explained Brick.
The beans will be separated into more manageable rations and distributed through the food bank’s many non-profit agencies and food programs, according to Karen McManus, the food resource manager at the Food Bank for Larimer County. Most of the beans will be distributed through the “Emergency Food Assistance” program, which provides food immediately to those most at risk.
Donations through agricultural research are only one way that CSU helps support the local food banks. Food collection programs, including Cans Around the Oval and Food for Fines, help supply the shelter with non-perishable goods, according to McManus.
“We value our relationship with the CSU community and appreciate the support we receive from students and staff,” McManus said.
Information about how to support the Food Bank for Larimer County can be found on its website, foodbanklarimer.org.