Edwards County 4-H members answered the call to help their neighbors, just when it is needed most.
Prior to the stay-at-home order in March, 22 4-H members and 15 volunteers met at the Country Financial Hall in Albion and packed meals for the area food banks. One in four Illinois children experience hunger. With several families facing unexpected layoffs and job losses, the 10,152 meals the 4-H members provided are making a difference in these communities, says Mark Becker, University of Illinois Extension 4-H food system specialist.
Financial assistance and volunteer support was provided by the Farm Bureau Young Leaders committee in the county.
"It made me feel like I was giving back to the community and helping those in need," an Ellery Panthers 4-H member says. "It also showed me how fortunate I am to have food in my house."
Though no one could have predicted how the need for food would become even more important in the days following the meal-packaging event, "thanks to the foresight and commitment to their communities, these 4-H members helped make a positive impact on their hometown and brought light into these dark times," says Becker.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy Mae Bingman, University of Illinois Extension Marketing and Communications Manager
Judy uses powerful words and photography to tell the Extension story. She is a skilled communication strategist and storyteller with demonstrated success in building teams and creating strong organizational brand identities that deepen Extension’s impact among key audiences, build brand loyalty, strengthen employee talent, and expand public engagement. She is a frequent conference presenter at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Conference and helps Extension staff across the nation tell compelling stories.