June 04, 2014
From left are Jennifer Bedingfield, Walmart market manager for the Montgomery area; State FFA President William Norris of Wetumpka; State FFA Vice President Bailey Sims of Marbury; State FFA Reporter Kelsey Faulkner of Ardmore; State FFA Sentinel Alyssa Hutcheson of Red Bay; State FFA Treasurer Shelby Windham of Ariton; and Alabama FFA Foundation representative Jennifer Himburg.
In their blue jackets and hair nets, more than 500 FFA students from across Alabama 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 grant awarded by the Walmart Foundation.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this project,” said Jennifer Bedingfield, Walmart market manager for the Montgomery region. “It is estimated that 1 in 6 Americans deal with hunger daily. At Walmart, 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.”
Resources for the FFA Rally To Fight Hunger were provided by the national Kids Against Hunger organization. Additional photos of the event are available at bit.ly/1p6W8ZV
- The National FFA Organization is one of the largest U.S. student organizations, with more than 575,000 members in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- The Montgomery Area Food Bank distributes almost 19 million pounds of food annually through 800 non-profit member agencies in 35 Alabama counties.
- Kids Against Hunger is a national organization dedicated to reducing the number of hungry children in the U.S. and around the world.
- Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women's Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Together, they have donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country.