OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) — Officials say 130 billion meals, and more than $408 billion in food, are thrown away in the U.S. each year. Cecil farms is teaming up with Farm Credit Mid-America and Rural 1st to host “Clearing Day” and reduce those numbers locally.

The co-owner of Cecil Farms says its important to give what you can back to the community.

“Us having fruits and vegetables as our thing that we have. Naturally, that makes complete sense for us to give that. We definitely love doing it we love when Fam Credit comes here. This has been an annual event with them every year. So, we always look forward to it. It’s great relationships. It’s a good time and a good cause,” said Suzanne Cecil-White.

The peppers, watermelon, and squash that are harvested are then packaged and transported to local food kitchens, community churches, and local emergency food providers.

The produce is harvested by Suzanne, representatives from the tristate food banks of Evansville, and FCMA employees..

“I’m just glad to be apart of a company that allows us to spend a day of work out here to volunteer [and] to put back to the community. A lot of us sit in offices quite a bit. This lets us get out, and it gets to the heart of our organization’s mission anyways. Which is supporting agriculture,” said Matt Keller of Farm Credit Mid-America.

The initiative began in 2016, and FCMA has volunteered 740 hours of their time at 29 food banks during 2023. As a result, they are helping to feed 1 in 7 Kentuckians.

FCMA is hoping to see a future where americans appreciate the power of agriculture and how it can impact food insecurity and waste in communities across the country.

“This really helps us connect farmers and their products to the community. And it helps people keep in mind that these are the people that are feeding our country. And these are the kind of initiatives that go unspoken that people don’t hear about,” said Keller.