The Sheridan chapter of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) has received a $1,200 grant to build a raised-bed garden to provide fresh produce to the students at Sheridan High School and to local food pantries.
“Many of our students will never know the struggle of not knowing where their next meal will come from,” said Taylor Donnelly, who is an Agriculture Education instructor at Sheridan High School, as well as the Sheridan FFA advisor. “However, for those who do, we want to help provide nutritious options to be added to the current food program and the local food pantries. A well-fed student is a more focused student, and that is our goal with this garden grant project.”
The new garden will have small A-frame tops for winter production. The produce grown year-round will be sent out to individual students through the district backpack program and distributed to local food banks.
According to an FFA press release, the nationwide program provides grant money to local FFA chapters to support semester-long service-learning projects that address needs related to community safety; environmental responsibility; hunger, health and nutrition; and community engagement during the spring semester. The program provided over $52,000 to FFA chapters in 25 states.
“Receiving this grant will allow the students of the Sheridan Agriculture Program to fulfill a need for fresh produce in our community and to relieve some of the burdens off families in our community who suffer from food insecurity,” said Donnelly. “The final line of the FFA motto reads ‘Living to Serve’ – and this grant is going to allow our FFA chapter to serve our community and build a network of support for those who need it most.”
The national FFA organization is a school-based national youth leadership development organization of more than 735,000 student members as part of 8,817 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.