FFA members shared statistics about hunger on a local and global level.

Agriculture teaming up to fight hunger

The Madison Plains FFA held the "Invest 2 Fight Hunger" Benefit Dinner on Feb. 21.

By Jessica Shanahan, OCJ field reporter

The Howard G. Buffet Foundation, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), and Monsanto have partnered with the National FFA Organization to raise awareness about the perennial problem of hunger.

The National FFA’s pilot program awarded the Madison Plains FFA with a $2,000 grant to educate their community about hunger issues both locally and worldwide. This grant allowed the chapter to hold the “Invest 2 Fight Hunger” Benefit Dinner on Feb. 21.

Thirty attendees at the dinner learned about hunger issues from presenters from ADM, Mid-Ohio Foodbank, and the Madison Plains FFA. Ryan Metzger, Merchandizer for ADM, told attendees about the “Invest an Acre” program that ADM and Monsanto conduct. This program allows farmers the opportunity to donate a portion of their profit to their local food bank. Monsanto then doubles the donation made by the local farmer. “In the first year we were able to make a large contribution because of donations from farmers like many of you,” Metzger said.

In the first year of Invest an Acre, farmers donated $171,000. After Monsanto’s contribution, $342,000 was given to local food banks. Of that money, $4,000 was given directly to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Stephanie Robertson and Matt Carlton of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank explained that with just $1 they are able to purchase $8 worth of groceries. Through the Invest an Acre program donations from farmers and Monsanto, $32,000 in groceries were purchased by the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Dusty Dillon and Kyle Young, seniors in the Madison Plains FFA, shared statistics about hunger both on a global and local level. Considering 38.4% of students at the Madison Plains Intermediate School receive free or reduced cost lunches, the chapter is excited to be a part of the initiative to raise awareness about hunger.

In addition to the benefit dinner, the chapter held an assembly at their high school where Morgan Clark, chapter president, shared statistics about hunger. After the assembly, a third of the students didn’t receive a cookie to represent the number of their students who face food insecurity.

As a part of the National FFA’s pilot program, the chapter is required to hold a total of four events in their community to raise awareness about hunger.

“In preparing for our events we’ve done a lot of research and I’ve learned so much about hunger that I didn’t know,” Clark said.


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