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Service is a main focus of 4-H and FFA.
In Marion County as a way to provide service and support to the community, 4-H clubs and FFA chapters are on a quest to raise dollars for Aly’s Project, a special initiative of United Way.
Through Aly’s Project, livestock producers can donate an animal to a local food pantry or senior center to provide high quality, locally produced meat to those in need.
Dollars in the Aly’s Project fund at United Way then pays for the processing of the donated animal at a local butcher shop.
There is a large need for quality meat at local food pantries and senior centers. Food pantries haven’t been receiving many meat donations that they can then provide to families turning to them for help.
United Way wants to change this. Leadership with the organization is hopeful to encourage more local livestock producers to donate livestock to local food pantries and senior centers with funding from Aly’s Project picking up the processing tab.
However, the account balance in the Aly’s Project fund is low after paying for the processing of 17 hogs recently.
Amanda Haeberlin, chapter advisor with Palmyra FFA learned about the need for dollars for this fund and is spearheading a competition between FFA chapters in Marion County to raise dollars for the fund between now and the Marion County Fair.
Brent Meyer, the director of the Hannibal Career and Technical Center who oversees the FFA program in Hannibal also has children in 4-H, learned about the competition and suggested the competition be expanded to also include 4-H clubs.
Between now and the cattle show at the Marion County Fair which will be held on Friday, Aug. 4, 4-H club members and FFA chapter members throughout the county will be working to raise money to support Aly’s Project.
At the cattle show, the FFA chapter and 4-H club that raised the most money will be recognized, and their organization will receive a banner. Additionally, it will be announced if kids in 4-H or FFA collectively raised the most money to support the program.
Since Aly’s Project began in 2019, the processing of 253 market hogs, four market lambs, four steers and two market goats has been paid for through the Aly’s Project fund, providing over 27,000 pounds of meat to local food pantries and senior centers.
That is enough meat for over 100,000 meals.
In total, over $32,000 has been donated to pay for the processing of this livestock through Aly’s Project. In order to continue encouraging producers to donate livestock, more financial donations for this fund are needed.
To make a donation to Aly’s Project, checks can be made to United Way and mailed to PO Box 81, Hannibal Mo 63401 with the designation of Aly’s Project in the memo with the 4-H club or FFA chapter the donation is supporting.
Donations can also be made online at the following link with the 4H club or FFA chapter they are supporting in the note: https://unitedwaymta.harnessgiving.org/campaigns/11087
If livestock producers are interested in donating an animal to a local food pantry or senior center through Aly’s Project, they are encouraged to reach out to United Way by calling 573-221-2761.