4-H youth fight childhood poverty and give back to their communities

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS – The South Dakota 4-H Youth Council challenged 4-H youth to help fight childhood poverty by supporting Feeding SD, backpack programs or local pantries/shelters. A competition was organized in which counties who raised the most money, donated the most pounds of food and volunteered the most hours would win a pizza party package.

The winning counties were Brown, Grant and Clay Counties.

Brown County 4-H Clubs; Stateline Feeders, Dream Reachers and Kattle Kings raised $895 for Feeding SD, Salvation Army and the Kids Against Hunger project. They helped package 3,888 meals for the Kids Against Hunger project and also helped put together Thanksgiving Food Baskets.

Grant County organized a county-wide project at their Recognition Event and the Madison Jr. Livestock Club was very instrumental in raising and donating 1,188.4-pounds of food to the Grant County food pantry. The Milbank High School conducted a food drive challenge and collected more than 2,478 items for the food pantry.

Clay County clubs; Meckling Livestock and Jolly J.J’s, invested 368 hours volunteering to help fill and deliver the backpacks to a local elementary for the weekend backpack program. They also volunteered over the summer to help stock and organize the shelves at the Vermillion Food Pantry. They baked 588 muffins and put them in the weekend backpacks for the Vermillion students.

The challenge continues

For the 2013-2014 4-H Year, the Youth Council adopted child poverty as the Statewide Community Service Project.

“Through this focus they hope to fundraise and encourage local fundraising for children and families living with low income,” said Audrey Rider, State 4-H Events Field Specialist. “Every year, the Youth

Council considers multiple

projects and after weighing where the most need is and where they can make the most impact, they select a Statewide Project. Promotion is done to all the counties and they ask for your support in reducing or even ending child poverty.”

If you want to participate, contact Rider at Audrey.Rider@sdstate.edu.

“There’s no wrong way to help out, so go start helping people,” Rider said. “Fundraise money and donate it to your local shelter or food pantry, hold a food drive and send it where it’s best needed, or just volunteer your time and help out where you can.”