CHS Harvest for Hunger Program Guidelines

Key Dates

  • Campaign runs: March 1-20
  • Final contributions entered into Agris: March 22

How contributions and donations can be made

  • All contributions must be recorded during the timeframe of March 1 to March 22. Contributions are calculated as net funds raised. To insure that monetary donations given go directly to the charities, please plan to cover any fundraising expenses through local operating budgets rather than deducting those expenses from fundraising totals.
  • CHS Harvest for Hunger gathers funds, food and grain to help fight hunger. The focus is on original contributions of food, funds and grain to CHS Harvest for Hunger. Contributions made directly to local food shelves or other entities cannot be counted toward your location’s totals.
  • All monetary donations collected through your business unit will be directed to regional food banks or another approved food shelf as noted on the commitment form.
  • If you have a significant amount of perishable food items and the nearest food bank is hundreds of miles away, deliver these items to the local food shelf. Be sure, though, to check with them in advance to ensure the food shelf can handle the donation. Many food shelves may not have the space, volunteers or logistics expertise to handle larger perishable contributions.

Earning bonus contributions for your communities

  • CHS Country Operations will make a bonus contribution back to its local communities based on contributions collected and the number of full-time employees in your business unit.
  • Bonus contributions go to local charities (must have 501(C)(3) status) to help nearby friends and neighbors. In years past this has included food pantries, FFA chapters, etc.
    • If your location is eligible for a bonus contribution, use the Designation Form to identify to which charity or charities you would like the check(s) made.
    • A W-9 must be on file for each entity before a check will be issued. If a W-9 was completed last year, a new form is not required.  The current IRS form can be found under Captain Resources.
  • CHS Country Operations bonus contributions can be earned as outlined below:
    • All participating business units will receive up to $75 per full-time employee (based on 2/1/19 data).
      • In order to receive the maximum bonus per full-time employee, the business unit must collect the equivalent of $100 or more per full-time employee.
      • If total amount collected for business unit is less, the bonus amount will be prorated.
    • Bonus dollars for top business units will be awarded in two categories: 1-50 full-time employees and 50+ full-time employees.
      • The business unit that collects the most donations (food and foods combined) per full-time employee will receive a $7,500 bonus. Second place will receive a $5,000 bonus.
    • The business unit that conducts the fundraising event that raises the most money will receive a $2,500 bonus. To be included in this competition, fundraising details and amounts collected must be submitted to Jane Magnuson by March 22.
  • Handling checks. Checks should be made out to CHS.
  • Managing receipts. Many people contributing to CHS Harvest for Hunger may want a receipt for tax purposes. The receipt is issued by the food bank, not CHS.  If you have contributors who want receipts, please create a list with the donor’s name, address and amount of the contribution. At the conclusion of the food drive, the donor list should be submitted to Jane Magnuson. The donor list will be included with the final check that gets distributed to the food bank. Some food banks send out donor receipts at that time, while others wait until calendar year end to distribute.

Keeping it clean
There aren’t any shortcuts to conducting a good fund-raising effort. The focus for CHS Harvest for Hunger is on original contributions to the program – contributions that are made directly to your location or through a location-organized event. For example, if you work with a local FFA chapter to bag groceries, then those contributions are a perfect fit for the CHS Harvest for Hunger program. On the other hand, if a food bank wants to run contributions through your location in hopes of getting an additional contribution from CHS Country Operations, that’s not a good fit.

Designating a captain

Harvest for Hunger captains play an important role in coordinating your location’s efforts. He or she will:

  • Contact and coordinate with food bank
  • Coordinate your local drive
  • Track and report

The Captain Duties document outlines suggested responsibilities for captains. Find the Captain Duties under Captain Resources.

Fundraising ideas

Promoting the program in advance of the March 1 kick-off is a great way to get people geared up for the campaign. All fundraising events must be approved by your business unit general manager.  In addition, participant release forms and permits must be obtained when required. Ideas from years past include:

  • Holding food-related event like pancake breakfast, Reuben feed, Cajun boil, taco dinner, bake sale
  • Asking other local businesses to contribute
  • Organizing events to encourage attendance and participation such as kids carnival, dance, team competitions, contests, auctions, fun runs, bike races, bowling
  • Partnering with your local FFA or 4-H club to raise money bagging and carrying out groceries
  • Placing CHS Harvest for Hunger posters at locations around town
  • Putting information on the website and/or on location counters
  • Working with the local paper and/or radio station to promote CHS Harvest for Hunger
  • Holding a raffle. You may need to obtain a gambling permit as required by law in many states
  • Working with your local 4-H, FFA, schools and scouting organizations to collect food. Make it a competition!
  • Inviting food bank representatives to speak to employee groups and others about the need for food.