One million meals and counting

As the last meal bag is sealed, the next one will soon be prepared. Many stomachs will be satisfied as the National FFA Convention & Expo comes to an end. FFA members from across the country and local volunteers  packaged more than one million meals for the Indianapolis community and families around the world in the FFA Rally to Fight Hunger.

Although the rally has ended, FFA members will travel home and see hunger in their communities. “Hunger is being seen in our local communities like never before…hunger is something we don’t want to think about,” says Dwight Armstrong, the National FFA Organization’s chief executive officer.  “We (FFA) believe that we can make a difference, and we envision a world where hunger will be a thing of the past.”

Hunger can be made history with strong effort and collaboration. Many sponsors have come forward with financial assistance to make ending hunger happen. Sara Lilygren, Tyson Foods senior vice president of external relations,  talks about their partnership with FFA in the fight to end hunger. “We hope the enthusiasm and the creativity they (FFA members) get at convention can be taken back to their communities and they can find even new ways to take care of hunger problems,” says Lilygren. “Hunger is so wide spread in America, but we don’t see it…so a lot of people think it’s not a problem. I think these kids are learning you may not see it, but it’s there and you can help.”

Helping package meals is just one way to fight hunger. Having the conversation on how to fight hunger is another.  “Go back to your communities and learn what’s going on. Find out who is addressing hunger. Reach out to your community food bank, anyone that might be talking about it,” said Cindy Hubert, Gleaners Food Bank President and CEO.

To learn more about how you can feed people in your community, visit kidsagainsthunger.org and feedingamerica.org.To learn more about the Rally to Fight Hunger, visit FFA.org.

Lauren Schwab is a former FFA member from Somerville, Ohio.She is a 2011 graduate of Miami University with a degree in journalism and women’s studies. She is currently a graduate student in family studies and works full time on her family farm. Contact her at schwablm@muohio.edu.

 

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FFA members will “stay hungry”

In order to help those who are hungry, we need to “stay hungry.” This was the message FFA members received in the How Hungry Are You? workshop presented at the National FFA Convention & Expo. The workshop encouraged participants to consider what they really know about world hunger and how they can help fight to end it.

Ending hunger can seem difficult to one person. Issac Valencia and Kelsie Hinders presented the workshop as part of the Feeding the World—Starting at Home hunger initiative to help students understand the issues and implications of hunger.   Students first learned what percent of income to every dollar is spent on food in countries across the world. The United States spends an average of five percent of their income to every dollar on food, while other countries spend over a third of their income. Students then thought about all the things they could not buy or do if they had to spend more money on food. “We could not have cell phones or any electronics, so we can forget Facebook!” said Erica Hyland of Glastonbury, Conn.

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FFA members feed the world starting at home

How hungry are you? FFA members are hungry enough to feed the world, but they will start at home. The National FFA Organization’s Feeding the World-Starting at Home hunger initiative is an educational movement dedicated to helping students understand the issues and implications of hunger.

Ten thousand FFA members are at the National FFA Convention and Expo to learn how they can feed the world starting at home by living to serve in the FFA Rally to Fight Hunger.  “This event is going to send out those first ripples and it’s only the beginning of a journey. We need to share this knowledge,” says Jason Troendle, 2011-2012 National FFA Secretary. “As agriculturalists we’ve been fighting hunger… but how can we do more? How can we continue to grow our influence? Let’s get these nice hairnets on and by the end of the week, package one million meals because we’re here at the first ever Rally to Fight Hunger!”

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FFA hunger advocates break the silence of empty stomachs

You know the uncomfortable grumble your stomach makes when you’re hungry? Most of the time, you can easily remedy it with a short walk to the kitchen, vending machine, restaurant or grocery store. Yet for every one in six Americans, getting rid of their hunger isn’t so easy. To help, FFA has partnered with the national organization Kids Against Hunger to feed people around the world.

Ten thousand FFA members from across the country will package one million meals for the Rally to Fight Hunger during the 85th National FFA Convention & Expo. Indianapolis-based Gleaners Food Bank will distribute half of the meals to residents around the city. “Hunger is silent, but it hurts,” says Cindy Hubert, Gleaners President and CEO. “A lot of working people are standing in the pantry lines, people who have never been hungry before.”

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