Lee County 4-H Joins the Fight Against Hunger

Illinois 4-H members are used to pledging their “health to better living,” but a state initiative has members battling a new health threat; local hunger.

“Hunger is closer to home than many people realize, said Kathy Book, University of Illinois Extension, Lee County 4-H program coordinator. “According to a 2019 report published by Feeding America, “One in eight children faces hunger and food insecurity on a recurring basis in Lee County. Among those children, 33 percent live in food insecure households with incomes too high to qualify for federal nutrition programs.”

On Tuesday, July 6, Lee County 4-H’ers will be packaging over 10,000 meals to be distributed to food pantries throughout Lee County and surrounding areas. The public is welcome to help package meals. We will begin at 5:00pm at the Lee County 4-H center outside Amboy. RSVP’s by June 30 are encouraged at go.illinois.edu/lee4Hmeal

Lee County 4-H Federation is using a meal starter formulated by the University of Illinois Illini Fighting Hunger group. The Fast & Hearty family meal starter is formulated to provide a well-balanced, nutritious meal for those in need, with six servings per package. There are many recipe ideas to make the starter meal delicious for the pickiest of eaters! This meal is the cornerstone of Illini Fighting Hunger’s hunger-fighting efforts. Consisting of long-grain white rice (a common food staple across cultures and tastes), a blend of vitamins and vegetarian chicken flavoring (to provide flavor and 16 essential vitamins and minerals), dehydrated vegetables, and textured soy protein, our meal’s simplicity masks its complete nutritional value. 

If you would like to volunteer with our Lee County 4-Hers or would like more information, contact Kathy at 217-300-2815 or kbook@illinois.edu. Current Covid Guidelines will be in place during the event.