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FFA members are addressing hunger during the National FFA Convention

FFA members are living to serve by addressing food security and hunger.  

National Days of Service, hosted during the National FFA Convention, looks a little different this year because of COVID-related challenges. Instead of projects at several different locations, the organization has launched its first on-site service project.

Michele Sullivan is the senior manager of local engagement with National FFA.

“We are building 100 little free pantries and also decorating them,” she says. “Another side activity is the opportunity to fill out cards for Meals on Wheels so people who receive meals from that organization will get a nice little card from an FFA member.”

A registration form is available for individuals to request a little free pantry painted by the FFA members. The pantries will stay within the Indianapolis area and a post, attaching hinges, and manpower will be provided as needed to install them.

Lexi Rader, a member with the Waldron FFA Chapter in Indiana, helped decorate a pantry today.

“FFA is a lot about community service and giving back to your community and I just thought it was a really good idea to come in and paint the pantries and give back to our community,” she says.

She volunteered with fellow Waldron FFA members Jane Bassett, Kyle Lacy, Haidyn Thompson, and Sam Sullivan.

Sullivan says students are learning about the importance of recognizing hunger.

“We talk to them about how hunger is a hidden need in almost every community so education is an important part of the project,” she says. “But, it’s also about how the pantries can be for more than food to include hygiene products, books, or something similar. So, while we’re building these primarily for the purpose and intent of food pantries there are also other ways that you can use a pantry.”

Sullivan says the project won’t stop at convention. FFA is challenging its members to build a little free pantry in communities across the country during FFA week in February.

The Little Free Pantry build is supported by Corteva Agriscience.

Click here for more information on national days of service or to request a pantry in the Indianapolis area.

Audio: Michele Sullivan

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