United Way Aly’s Project helps feed area needy

In 2019, United Way of the Mark Twain Area launched Aly’s Project: Youth Feeding the Needy in an effort to provide young people an avenue to tackle food insecurity in their communities. 

Through Aly’s Project, 4-H and FFA youth who raise livestock are able to donate their livestock projects at the conclusion of fair season to local food pantries and senior centers. 

Funding from Aly’s Project pays for the processing of the donated animals at a local butcher shop.

This year Mya Gottman, daughter of Jamie and Megan Gottman of rural Monroe City, and Taylor Gottman, daughter of Tim and Lennie Gottman of rural Monroe City, both chose to donate their market goats to the Monroe City Food Pantry after the Marion County Fair.

Devyn Timbrook who volunteers to manage the Monroe City Food Pantry knows the value of this meat. The pantry has been heavily relied upon in the wake of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. 

They have seen a drastic increase in the number of individuals turning to them for help.

“We will be able to supply more families with meat to put on their tables,” Timbrook said. “The generosity of these two young ladies is greatly appreciated.”

At the Marion County Junior Fair Livestock Sale, John Poole, owner of Lumley Locker in LaBelle, Mo. learned that these two girls would be donating their projects through Aly’s Project to a local food pantry. He stepped up to donate the processing of the animals.

“At United Way, our tagline is Live United,” Denise Damron, executive director at the United Way of the Mark Twain Area, said. 

“How this project came together is a direct example of what it means to Live United. All individuals were working together for the common good. It has been great to watch this donation come to fruition.” 

Additional livestock projects donations are pending from other area youth. Those donations will be announced once they come to fruition.

The United Way of the Mark Twain Area works towards the mission, “to increase the capacity of people to care for one another.” 

This is done by creating opportunities for individuals to give of their time, talents and treasures to local organizations that work to empower all individuals to achieve their potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives.

For more information, United Way of the Mark Twain Area,  3062 Highway 61 North P.O. Box 81 Hannibal, MO 63401, can be reached by calling 573-221-2761 or emailing www.unitedwaymta.org .