SYCAMORE – 4-H members from Boone, DeKalb and Ogle counties are fighting back to end hunger in northern Illinois. As part of the LIVE it up! Teen Conference in November, youth prepared meals for local food pantries at the DeKalb County Center for Agriculture.
The effort is part of the Illini Fighting Hunger program. The youth packaged more than 15,000 meals of a soy-fortified rice casserole mix for distribution through northern Illinois food pantries and other entities serving families in need.
Funding for this event came from the Howard G. Buffet Foundation and the Invest An Acre program and local 4-H clubs. University of Illinois Extension, through the Illinois 4-H’s Feeding and Growing Our Communities effort, hopes to engage 500 youth and 100 adults annually in programs that address hunger awareness and food securities in Illinois communities.
“Hunger is closer than you think,” said Nicole Groezinger, 4-H program coordinator. “Through this activity and many more, youth are stepping up to take responsible actions toward ending hunger.
“Hunger becomes very real when you see the difference their help is making,” Groezinger said. “4-H is educating young people on the issues of food security and hunger relief, and empowering them to take action on this critical issue now, and as future leaders.”