The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

June 5, 2014

FFA students rally to fight hunger

— In their blue jackets and hair nets, more than 500 FFA students from across Alabama, including Ardmore, spent Wednesday morning packaging more than 75,000 meals for the Montgomery Area Food Bank. The community service event was the second annual FFA Rally To Fight Hunger hosted during the State FFA Convention in Montgomery.

The students poured grains and vegetables into sealable bags, each containing six nutritious servings with 50 percent or more of the recommended daily value of 16 vitamins and minerals.

Alabama FFA President and Wetumpka High School student William Norris said the project embodied the FFA motto of “Learning to Do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live and Living to Serve.”

“We’re learning what it takes to provide for others, to confront the problem of hunger and find a solution,” Norris said. “We’re taking action to improve our community. It is inspiring and humbling to lead a group of students committed to serving others through FFA.”

The FFA Rally To Fight Hunger was made possible by the Alabama FFA Foundation and a $25,000 Wal-Mart Foundation grant.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this project,” said Jennifer Bedingfield, Wal-Mart market manager for the Montgomery region. “It is estimated that 1 in 6 Americans deal with hunger daily. At Wal-Mart, we know that fulfilling the needs of the hungry starts at the local level, which is why we are supporting the Alabama FFA Foundation for today’s Rally To Fight Hunger.”

The Montgomery Area Food Bank (MAFB) serves 35 Alabama counties. According to the Alabama Food Bank Association, almost 1 million Alabamians are considered food insecure. That’s almost 20 percent of the state’s population.

“That realization is what inspired Alabama FFA students to host the Rally To Fight Hunger last year and what continues to drive students to make this an annual event,” said Alabama FFA Foundation Chairman and Alabama Farmers Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan. “Hunger is a real problem for many people in our state and country. We all have co-workers, neighbors and friends who struggle in the fight against hunger.”

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