From the Daily Independent
January 7, 2019 / Staff Report
The Boyd County High School FFA receives 1k to fight hunger
The Boyd County FFA chapter have been awarded a $1,000 grant from the Kentucky FFA Foundation to help them continue to their fight against hunger in the community.
The Better Days Through Better Ways grant is a state-wide project that provides funding for FFA chapters to develop and implement sustainable, local programs that address hunger and food insecurity. FFA chapters can apply each year for a $1,000 grant to either start a project or expand one that is already in place.
This is the second year Boyd County FFA has been selected for the grant. They used previous funding to convert livestock bunk feeders into raised gardens for lettuce that they donated to River Cities Harvest Food Pantry. In addition, students led community workshops about establishing and maintaining raised bed gardens. These workshops were targeted toward people with mobility issues that may prevent them from having a traditional garden.
This year’s grant will help the chapter expand both its production capacity and community outreach efforts. In addition to connecting with people who have mobility issues, the chapter plans to target people who may have space limitations, like those who live in apartments. This is a common situation for low-income or retired people who live in Boyd County, according to their chapter’s grant application.
“FFA members are uniquely positioned to address hunger because they are learning valuable life skills, like how to produce food, but also they understand their community’s needs, because they are the community,” said Sheldon McKinney, executive director of the Kentucky FFA Foundation. “We are establishing the infrastructure to produce food for the long term. Many food insecure people do lack a source for fresh produce and meat, and this is a great way to do that.”
The Better Days Through Better Ways grants are funded by the Mulhollem Cravens Foundation through a partnership with the Kentucky FFA Foundation. Since 2014, Mulhollem Cravens has given $60,000 to fund 60 Better Days Through Better Ways projects across the state.
“Contributing to food needs is the central goal,” said Valerie Cravens, “but how much is learned in the process is just as important. Students should gain skills in any or all of the areas of communication, marketing, production or management.”
The Kentucky FFA Foundation cultivates partnerships which support the FFA vision to grow leaders, build communities, and strengthen agriculture. Kentucky FFA Foundation initiatives impact more than 14,500 FFA members in 154 FFA chapters across Kentucky.