FFA Chapters Double Meat and Egg Donations to Local Communities

December 22, 2014

121 FFA chapters from across the country impact hunger through FFA: Food For All grant program

Stefonie Sebastian, Living to Serve Education Specialist – National FFA Organization

Serrano FFA in California raised turkeys and broilers throughout the year, which resulted in 1,000 pounds of meat being donated to their local food bank. Students in Greensburg, Indiana provided 624 pounds of produce, 383 dozen eggs and 360 pounds of pork to their community.

Nearly $300,000 was awarded to 121 FFA chapters in 35 states and the Virgin Islands in 2014 as part of the FFA: Food For All grant program. The program, now in its third year, supports chapters in Feeding Our World-Starting at home through yearlong service-learning projects that address hunger. In total, FFA chapters donated over 122,000 pounds of produce, 20,400 pounds of meat and 3,950 dozen eggs. In addition, they hosted 300 educational outreach events to teach others about hunger and related topics. The full impact report for 2014 can be found at www.FFA.org/foodforall.

Courtesy: National FFA

Courtesy: National FFA

As a second year FFA: Food For All grantee, Vista FFA (CA) expanded their original “Farm to Fork” school garden to include raising high quality sources of animal protein. The chapter raised and distributed 320 pounds of protein, which included rabbit, turkey, chicken, beef and pork. They also donated 40 dozen eggs. The protein benefited local community members and the school backpack program. The schools’ Culinary Arts program also benefited from the project by utilizing 20 dozen eggs and five rabbits in their menu offerings that helped to promote the benefits of locally grown food sources.

Courtesy: National FFA

Courtesy: National FFA

Partnering with the school faculty, Vista FFA members conducted site visits to the schools’ small on-campus farm and presented three workshops educating more than 870 community members. Through these opportunities FFA members were able to inform community members about the processes involved with raising small animals at home, resources for finding processors, and even laws and regulations associated with this type of activity within city limits.

Lanier FFA (TX) is “Putting the Culture Back in Agriculture” through the Lanier Community Garden by partnering with the Multicultural Refugee Coalition (MRC). FFA members provided 660 hours of service to create a community garden to educate students and community members on the importance and benefits of consuming locally grown fruits and vegetables.

More than half of the garden plots were used by families recruited through the MRC, which created unique learning opportunities for FFA members and other participants by exposing them to at least four different languages spoken by the gardeners. Through five community workshops, FFA members demonstrated the feasibility, cost effectiveness and the positive nutritional impacts that growing your own food can provide.

The MRC gardeners and Lanier FFA members enjoyed the harvests of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and giant summer squash and other items.  FFA

Courtesy: National FFA

Courtesy: National FFA

members, their families and the MRC gardeners have donated more than 200 pounds of fresh produce, 10 six ounce jars of honey, 10 dozen eggs and 10 pounds of protein to the Capital Area Food Bank.

The 2014 FFA: Food For All grants were sponsored by RAM, Farmers Feeding the World, the Donaldson Foundation and Monsanto as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. In late January, National FFA will announce chapters who have been selected to participate in 2015.