Governor, first lady DeWine welcome Luke Bryan to Ohio to support feeding families and children
Country music superstar Luke Bryan with Ohio first lady Fran DeWine at the 2023 Ohio First Lady's Luncheon. (Ohio Governor's Office photo)
On Friday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and first lady Fran DeWine welcomed country music superstar Luke Bryan to Ohio to support families and children who face hunger throughout the state.
One in eight Ohioans faces food insecurity, including nearly 400,000 children in Ohio.
“Mike and I share Luke Bryan’s commitment to fighting hunger and helping families find enough food to eat,” said first lady DeWine. “It’s a blessing that Luke came to share his spotlight on this need, as we all work together to help tackle the issue of food insecurity in Ohio. Each of us can take action, help our fellow Ohioans and make a real difference.”
First lady DeWine hosted the lunch and spoke with Bryan about his ongoing Farm Tour, which celebrates America’s farmers and supports families facing food insecurity across the country. This year marks Bryan’s 14th Farm Tour — including a stop in Ohio — and features the #HeresToTheFarmer campaign, which has already donated 6 million meals to Feeding America with partner Bayer.
Since 2008, when the Farm Tour began, Bryan has also granted 78 scholarships to students from farming families near tour stops to their local college or university.
“I grew up around farming and understand the importance of where food comes from,” said Bryan. “I’m excited to support families and children in Ohio to make sure everyone has food on their table.”
At Friday’s luncheon, Governor DeWine shared remarks and noted that first lady DeWine is a fierce supporter of organizations across the state that distribute food to families and children facing hunger. First lady DeWine has visited many foodbanks, shared lunch with kids at Ohio libraries hosting summer food programs, invited schoolkids to pick vegetables and cook with her at the Ohio Governor’s Residence and Heritage Garden and helped kids understand where their food comes from by grinding wheat, making dough and pizza at the Ohio State Fair.
She has also visited unique programs that involve Ohio organizations getting creative about how to help families in need, such as La Soupe in Cincinnati and the Food is Medicine program in Warren, which has doctors sharing a box of nutritious food from the local food bank with patients.
Also at the luncheon, first lady DeWine presented Bryan with an Ohio fishing license from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. As an avid fisherman, Bryan can use this fishing license on any lake in Ohio. The first lady shared how much she and Governor DeWine enjoy taking their children and grandchildren to Lake Erie and many other beautiful Ohio lakes to fish.
First lady DeWine has long had a passion for cooking, which she’s shared with Ohioans through a series of cookbooks since the 1980s. New this year, she has created a cookbook with her favorite recipes to cook with kids. Recipes include cinnamon rolls, pizza and “Anna banana bread.”
Organized in 2021, the Ohio First Lady’s Charitable Foundation hosted the 2023 Ohio First Lady’s Luncheon to raise awareness and financial support for organizations that provide food to Ohio families. The nonprofit organization focuses on raising awareness and financial support for the first lady of Ohio’s philanthropic endeavors.
In 2022, the First Lady’s Charitable Foundation hosted the inaugural First Lady’s Luncheon, which supported Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio — a book gifting program available to all Ohio children between birth and age 5. Families can sign up for free books at OhioImaginationLibrary.org.
First lady DeWine was pivotal in establishing a statewide program for any child to sign up for a free monthly book. Today, nearly 390,000 Ohio kids, which is 58 percent of eligible children under the age of 5, are receiving the Imagination Library books each month.
Country music superstar and television personality Luke Bryan has amassed a total of 21.7 billion global streams, 11.5 million global album sales and 52 million track sales worldwide. His headline concert tours have played sold-out shows for millions and millions of fans inclusive of nearly 40 stadium concerts, Farm Tours, Spring Break shows, and eight sold-out ‘Crash My Playa’ destination concert events. Bryan has won 50-plus major music awards ,including five wins as Entertainer of the Year.