Cutline: FFA students prepared 30,000 meals for Kids Against Hunger. More than 400 students from 21 area high school FFA chapters descended on Summer Creek High School Dec. 5 to prepare 30,000 meals for those in need. The meals were prepared through the nonprofit organization Kids Against Hunger. David Laird, Agricultural Science Teacher and Summer Creek FFA Advisor said, “FFA has been working with Kids Against Hunger on a national scale for about four years. We are working to make the world a better place for everyone. That’s the whole idea of farming and agriculture, feeding other people. Teaching these kids how to package these meals, giving them an opportunity to actually physically give food to someone who is starving, is a huge confidence booster for them.” The meals have a three-year shelf life and are comprised of rice, soy powder, dehydrated vegetables, and a chicken-flavored vitamin powder. The end user needs only to add hot water to the contents of the package to make a meal that will feed six people. “If kids eat this, even for three meals a day, they will meet all the nutritional requirements that help them grow and develop,” said Laird, who described the prepared meal as tasting a lot like chicken rice-a-roni and added, “It’s a meal people will be happy to eat.” The majority of the meals prepared on Dec. 5 will stay in the Houston area for distribution. Three thousand of the meals will go to Kids Against Hunger headquarters. “They will take those meals and make them available for disaster relief, like Hurricane Ike and the West disaster. This past year, Kids Against Hunger packaged their billionth meal,” said Laird. The FFA students raised the $8,750 needed to buy the supplies to make the 30,000 meals by collecting donations. For a $3 donation, a wristband was given, which reads: “I just fed 12 kids.” The $3 donation paid for two meal packages to be prepared, with six servings in each. Kylee Newberry, Summer Creek FFA member, said securing donations for the project was not difficult. “It was actually really easy. People are interested in doing these kinds of things. Some people donated $30 or $40. Every time I asked someone to donate, they said yes. No one denied me.” Newberry, who raises turkeys, said she enjoys being a part of FFA. “I love everything about FFA. When I come in the classroom, everyone is like family. There is no drama and FFA gives me an opportunity to show my strengths.” The stated mission of Kids Against Hunger is to significantly reduce the number of hungry children in the US and to feed starving children throughout the world. More information is available at www.kidsagainsthunger.org

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