One in five people in Wyandotte County do not know where their next meal is coming from. That’s more than 32,000 people right in this community, according to estimates from feedingamerica.org.
Local 4-H'ers see the significance of this issue and are raising awareness about food insecurity and battling hunger to ensure that every citizen in Wyandotte County is being fed, according to the county 4-H agent.
Wyandotte County 4-H Agent Peggy Berrier Boyd has organized a dedicated group of 4-H'ers to develop and implement a program to increase awareness of local hunger as part of a grant.
This initiative, entitled “4-H: Empowering Youth to End Hunger in Their Communities” is funded by The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, which partnered with National 4-H Council to reach youth. Eight proposals from Kansas have been awarded grants to conduct the program. Youth have proven to be a valuable audience to engage in the fight against hunger. According to a study recorded in the Journal of Extension, the youth offered a fresh, meaningful perspective and picked up on issues that the facilitators overlooked.
In April, the 4-H'ers held a food drive for the Help 317 Food Pantry that serves Wyandotte County. This event was highly successful, raising 544 pounds of food as well as a $1,323.13 financial donation. The pantry used these funds to help secure a matching grant from the Feinstein Foundation that will provide additional financial support for the organization. For each pound of food secured, the foundation also credited a $1 financial contribution for the match.
The next big endeavor of this project is a poster contest promoting hunger awareness, to be held at the county fair July 23-27. The fairgrounds are located at 13700 Polfer Road, Kansas City, Kan.
Each 4-H club has been given a kit of poster-making supplies and resource information so that the youth in that club may make a poster for the contest. This project will also be open to non-4-H youth, through the cooperation of all public libraries in Wyandotte County. Local libraries also have been given kits and resource information and group activities for youth wanting to participate.
Wyandotte County 4-H'ers are working to fight hunger and would welcome any support from the community so no one in the community goes hungry. Join the 4-H'ers to support their cause and help to end hunger by visiting www.kansas4h.org/p.aspx?tabid=574 or investanacre.org, or visit Facebook at “4-H: Empowering Youth to End Hunger.”