The National FFA Rally to Fight Hunger campaign is brand new at the annual convention but thousands of members and volunteers are making this a big-impact campaign as they continue packing 1 million meals for distribution locally and overseas. Shelby Evans from the South Ripley chapter in southeastern Indiana, a junior attending her first convention, was one of the volunteers on the very first shift when the work started early Wednesday afternoon.
“I like to help and it feels good to be doing something and have an effect on something not only in Indiana but around the world, and we’re doing a lot,” she said. “This is going to help someone and it’s cool to think about that.”
Members were encouraged at the kickoff to continue good deeds after convention and Evans said those words impacted her.
Sara Lilygren, Senior Vice President External Relations at Tyson Foods, told HAT her company, a longtime sponsor of FFA, helped develop the campaign and provided a financial contribution to get it off the ground. She said this effort will go well beyond a million meals for the hungry.
“I think it’s going to build awareness amongst a really important part of our population which is motivated kids, teenagers that are going to grow up to do more, influence more and fix more in this country. The hunger problem is one a lot of Americans don’t realize is out there, so by teaching these kids, getting them enthused, and sending them back home to all 50 states where they came from to do their own thing in their own communities, I think that’s a huge contribution.”
So what is being packaged in those meals this week? Danica Kirkpatrick from Purdue explains it’s “four different ingredients put in by the students. The first one is a powder that has 21 essential vitamins and nutrients. The second step is adding some vegetables which gives it some color and some additional flavor. The third step is soy which is the protein that is included in the meal and then rice is what fills their bellies and keeps them from being hungry.”
Additionally, Tyson was joined by another long-time FFA sponsor in donating more than 60,000 pounds of food to one of Indiana’s largest and busiest community food banks Thursday. Hormel gave 35,640 pounds of chili with beans and Tyson gave more than 30,000 pounds of fresh chicken to Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/10/FFA-fighting-hunger.mp3|titles=FFA fighting hunger]Click play for the full Lilygren interview:[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/10/Sara-Lilygren-Tyson.mp3|titles=Sara Lilygren from Tyson Foods]