COLUMBIA, Mo.– Last year, 4-H members across Missouri contributed more than 10,500 hours of service to fighting hunger in their communities. Missouri 4-H clubs and individual youth organized food drives, planted community gardens, hosted dinners, made public presentations and promoted the Invest an Acre program as part of a yearlong 4-H campaign to find solutions to hunger through service.
According to one regional food bank representative, “4-H opened doors for us that would have taken months to open one by one. We are thrilled to have 4-H working alongside of us.”
In Barton, Boone and Dade counties, 4-H conducted hunger demonstration projects that added more than 3,400 hours to the campaign. One hundred and sixty 4-H clubs from more than 50 counties also carried out projects in their schools and communities dealing with hunger awareness, hunger relief or food security.
Hannah Huber of Perry County was recognized as the top female youth for contributing 120 hours to helping her county jump-start a recycling program at the fairgrounds, with proceeds going to a local hunger organization.
Tony Morgan of Barton County received recognition as the top male youth, volunteering 96 hours to promote Invest an Acre, a program that encourages farmers to donate an acre or more of crop proceeds to fight hunger in their communities.
The 2014 Missouri State Fair, Aug. 7-17, will be another opportunity for 4-H’ers to go above and beyond. Missouri Farmers Care is organizing a 14-foot “Canstruction” sculpture of the 4-H clover made from food cans. It will be built and displayed in the Ag Building as a tribute to the efforts of Missouri 4-H’ers to fight hunger and to raise awareness of all that still needs to be done.
4-H youth are challenged to join in the Missouri State Fair food drive by collecting canned food items. Youth can bring canned food items to the fair, or donate them to a local food pantry and report the total number of items they have collected when they arrive at the fair.
4-H youth accompanied by an adult chaperone can also sign up to work at the 4-H Clover Canstruction booth during various days and times throughout the fair.
Many organizations are working together to build the Canstruction project, including Missouri Farmers Care, Missouri State Fair, Canstruction of Mid-Missouri and Canstruction Inc. Trabue, Hansen & Hinshaw Inc. and Peckham and Wright Architects are designing and overseeing construction of the sculpture. Bing’s Grocery Stores of Sedalia is donating all of the cans.
Watch the Missouri 4-H Facebook page (facebook.com/missouri4h) in early July to see a rendering of the 4-H Clover Canstruction sculpture.
For more information about the 4-H Clover Canstruction or how your 4-H group can get involved, contact Steve Henness, 4-H Center for Youth Development, at email@example.com or 573-884-6618.
Missouri 4-H is a community of more than 280,000 youth ages 5-18 from rural farming communities, suburban schoolyards and urban neighborhoods across Missouri. In the Show-Me State, 4-H members are guided by more than 10,000 caring adult volunteers. 4-H is the youth development program of the nation’s cooperative extension system.