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FFA members give back, plant little free pantry

FFA members are giving back and living to serve by providing little free pantries during National FFA Week.

National FFA members from across the country gathered to build and decorate more than 100 little free pantries during the National FFA Convention in October.

The first pantry was ‘planted’ today in Indianapolis.

Nicholas Neuman is the Indiana FFA State Secretary.

“Indiana FFA had the opportunity to partner with the National FFA Organization and install one of their little free pantries and we’re very excited to have the opportunity to give back to the Indianapolis community,” he says. “(The little free pantry project) is a National FFA partnership with Corteva Agriscience. It’s a way to give back to the community and show FFA is based in leadership, but also based in community.”

He says more pantries will be distributed in the Indianapolis area.

Audio: Nicholas Neuman

Michele Sullivan, senior manager of local engagement with National FFA, says community members can request a little free pantry. A post, attaching hinges, and manpower will be provided as needed to install the pantries.

“We want to get them in neighborhoods and areas where they’re going to help fill that need for access to food. It can hold more than food too. If there are needs in the community for hygiene or school supplies, it can serve that purpose as well. Ms. Miles had noted that there is a big need in this area so having the opportunity to come and be part of this inaugural planting is really exciting for us.”

Audio: Michele Sullivan

Indianapolis native Lisa Miles has hosted little free pantries in the past, but the last one was vandalized and torn down. She requested a pantry and worked with FFA to replace it so she can once again offer a free little pantry to her community.

“I sent in the request to National FFA and waited and then next thing I know I was told I was getting a little free pantry box,” she says. I wanted to do something else (after the first box was vandalized) because kids aren’t getting school supplies or even a snack. I’ve always been raised to give. Even if you can’t afford to give, give a little.”

Miles says she is very familiar with National FFA and the work it does as her granddaughter was involved in the organization.  

Audio: Lisa Miles

And, Neuman says National FFA week is the perfect time to give back.

“It’s so important to give back to our communities because they give so much to FFA. This week is National FFA Week and as a state officer, I’ve been given the opportunity to drive around the state and see just how much our community is doing for FFA. It’s a week of celebration and a week of giving back. FFA teaches life skills, but it is also important to instill the value of servant-based leadership and that’s what FFA does.”

National FFA Week continues through Feb. 26.

Click here for more information or to request a pantry in the Indianapolis area.

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