National FFA Challenges Members, State Staff and Hunger Sponsors to donate 2.5 Million Meals in 2015

February 18, 2015

By Kayla Lumpford-Mitchell, Program Manager-Living to Serve Team, National FFA Organization

In 2014, the National FFA Organization launched the FFA Hunger Heroes Challenge as a means of capturing the stories and impacts of FFA chapters across the country on the issues of hunger and food security in local communities.  The call to action was for FFA chapters to donate 1Million meals to impact hunger across the country. Did we reach our goal? 19,420 FFA members volunteered in excess of 170,000 hours to donate over 1.6Million meals.

Knowing that our FFA members are uniquely poised to address the issue of hunger, the National FFA upped the ante with a new goal of donating 2.5 Million meals by the 2015 National FFA Convention & Expo. To do this, National FFA needs the participation of our local FFA chapters, state associations, community members and hunger sponsors.

How can you become an FFA Hunger Hero?

Local FFA chapters and state associations are encouraged to partner with people in their community to host hunger fighting event(s) and follow the steps of See It, Solve It, Share It:

  • See It– Empower yourself with KNOWLEDGE! Research hunger in your community or the world and decide how your FFA chapter can help.
  • Solve It– Lead your team into ACTION! Create and carry out a service plan to fight hunger. Find partners in the community that can help make the project a success.
  • Share It– INSPIRE others by sharing your story! Report impacts at FFA.org/HEROES after each service event. Upon doing so, chapters will be entered in a $250 drawing that month.

The FFA Hunger Heroes Challenge site provides a platform to gather real life examples of how FFA members are “Living to Serve” by creating service plans that impact hunger.  By capturing and sharing out stories and impacts we help to inspire others to become FFA Hunger Heroes.

#FFAHunger #goFFA (Courtesy: National FFA)

#FFAHunger #goFFA (Courtesy: National FFA)

It doesn’t take a large group of people to make a significant impact on hunger. A perfect example can be found in a very small FFA chapter, Cedar Keys FFA (FL) who is making a big difference in their community.  After two and a half years of growing and donating fresh food to the Cedar Key Food Pantry, the FFA chapter has officially donated four (4) tons of food. That’s 8,000 pounds of freshly grown crops, farm raised Tilapia, fresh Gulf of Mexico reef fish, one hog, and five deer that have been donated over the years.  As time goes on Cedar Key FFA plans to continue to contribute all that they can to the local food pantry for they have made it their mission to make an impact on the tiny island.

Maybe you want to start with something smaller to impact hunger.  You could host a sporting or other event with canned food items acting as an admittance fee like St. Amant FFA Chapter. Each year, St. Amant FFA host a fall festival called, “Boo at the Barn.” For this event community members are given a safe environment for youth to trick or treat, play games, enjoy a petting zoo and more. For admittance, participants must donate $1 or 1 non-perishable food item. This year, St. Amant FFA raised $500 and collected 400 pounds of food. The food collected was used to make Thanksgivings baskets for families in the community.

Partner with your local FFA chapter and become an FFA Hunger Hero!  To find out more about the FFA Hunger Heroes Challenge visit www.ffa.org/heroes  .  The 2015 FFA Hunger Heroes Challenge is proudly sponsored by CF Industries, Elanco, Land O’Lakes, Nationwide Foundation, TSC, Tyson and MainSource Financial Group.

For more information contact LTS@ffa.org