Rally to Fight Hunger Exceeds 1 Mil Meal GoalPublished by on
Ten thousand FFA members, advisors and volunteers packed 1,005,048 meals between Wednesday and Friday in an effort to alleviate hunger both locally and abroad.
The packaged meals are nutritionally balanced, containing protein, carbohydrates and vitamins essential to complete nutrition and require only boiling water to prepare. Half of the meals will stay in the central Indiana area to be distributed by Gleaners Food Bank, while the other half will go to Haiti in coordination with Kids Against Hunger, a humanitarian food-aid organization.
"It was very exciting to be able to work with FFA members and volunteers during this extraordinary event,” said Larry Moore, executive director of the local Kids Against Hunger affiliate. “I enjoyed meeting folks from all over the country; from the northern part of Maine out to California. We knew we would have an energetic group, and they were able to get it done."
In addition to feeding the hungry, the rally kicked off the National FFA Organization’s Feeding the World-Starting at Home initiative, which helps FFA members across the nation understand the issues and effects of hunger in their own communities and around the world.
“There are so many hungry children out there that need help,” said Jansen Applegate of Rusk FFA in Texas. “It’s also part of our creed.
We’re not in need, so we should help them.”
Longtime FFA sponsors Tyson and Hormel also helped to support local hunger relief with donations to Gleaners Food Bank on Thursday. Tyson donated more than 30,000 pounds of fresh chicken and Hormel donated 35,640 pounds of chili with beans.
In addition, the 85th National FFA Convention also saw a key number be exceeded; a record number of FFA members from throughout the country attended the 2012 National FFA Convention & Expo this week in Indianapolis.
The convention and expo had 56,176 attendees.
The new record is an almost 3,000-member jump in convention attendance from last year, when 53,358 attended the event.
During the 2011-12 school year, 16,939 students joined FFA and raised the organization’s total membership to 557,318 students in grades seven through 12 in the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Next year, the convention and expo heads to Louisville for a three-year run before coming back to Indianapolis in 2016.
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 557,318 student members in grades seven through 12 who belong to one of 7,498 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.