INDIANAPOLIS-The National FFA Organization has awarded more than $320,000 in grant money for its "FFA: Food for All" program, which provides local FFA chapters throughout the U.S. funding to support year-long service-learning projects focused on developing and implementing sustainable hunger programs.
Service-learning is a method of teaching and learning that challenges students to identify, research, develop and implement solutions to identified needs in their school or community as part of their curriculum.
The initiative provided up to $2,500 to 132 chapters in 42 states this year to help local FFA chapters with their programs. All of the projects will rely on FFA members for implementation. In addition to providing food for local residents in need, FFA members will provide helpful information regarding the care, preparation and preservation of food.
This grant opportunity was available to FFA chapters throughout the country for the first time in 2012. This year's funding allows FFA chapters to apply for up to $2,500 to either create a new program around fighting hunger or use it to help supplement a program already in place. With funding, FFA chapters will develop community gardens to supplement fresh fruits and vegetables to the school or local food pantry; raise broilers to provide fresh meat and eggs to local families; host community workshops on container and backyard gardening and food preservation; create recipe books based around healthy eating of the foods that they will donate; and much more.
Last year, 10,603 FFA members volunteered 139,050 hours in their local communities to run new or sustain existing hunger-fighting programs. Their collective volunteer hours were valued at nearly $3.1 million work hours. In addition, FFA chapters donated more than 160,000 pounds of fresh produce, meat and eggs to their local communities.
FFA: Food for All grants are sponsored by Farmers Feeding the World and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
To find a participating FFA chapter in your area, visit www.FFA.org/FoodForAll for a list.