(Photo courtesy of Oregon FFA)
Seasons are changing and that means it is back to school and farmers are busy with final harvest. But one thing that does not change with the seasons is the need across Oregon to help fight hunger. Those affected by food insecurity are in need year-round, and that is why Les Schwab Tire Centers of Oregon has partnered with Oregon FFA (formerly known as Future Farmers of America) in a Drive Away Hunger event to help raise awareness and to raise as much food as possible to help end hunger.
The initiative will take place the entire month of October. More Oregonians today are suffering from food insecurity and worry about where their next meal may come from. Since 2008, the Oregon Food Bank has seen the demand for emergency food boxes increase by 40 percent. The Drive Away Hunger initiative will take place the entire month of October.
All month you may see FFA members across the state doing a variety of service activities to raise as much food as possible. Please be on the lookout for activities and collections happening throughout our community. You are encouraged to drop food donations at any Les Schwab Tire Center, Wilco Farm Store or your local FFA Chapter. Collection bags are being distributed to subscribers of the Capital Press, East Oregonian, Wallowa County Chieftain, Hermiston Herald, and Blue Mountain Eagle, or you may pick up a collection bag at your local Les Schwab Tire Center or a Wilco Farm Store. We are encouraging everyone to be #TiredofHunger and fill a grocery bag to drop at any of our collection sites.
In addition to nonperishable food, the FFA is seeking farm and ranch crop donations as well. If you are interested in donating a portion of your food crop, please contact your local FFA chapter or Kevin White, executive director of the Oregon FFA Foundation, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All donations received will be given first to the local food pantries in your community. If there is more, it will be distributed by the Oregon Food Bank to other pantries throughout the state.
Last year the FFA’s Tired of Hunger initiative helped raise more than 500,000 pounds of food. That was enough food to provide 416,667 meals or feed 4,960 families for nearly a week. This year, the more than 6,000 FFA members from 105 FFA chapters have partnered with the 107 Les Schwab stores in Oregon as well as the 13 Wilco Farm Stores to make a huge dent in helping supply the Oregon Food Bank and other local food pantries with much needed food.
This is a very special project for the Oregon FFA, because FFA members are able to live out their motto of “learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live and living to serve.” In this service initiative, FFA members can follow in the footsteps set by those at Les Schwab Tire Centers, as you see them giving back to their communities every day.
“This is a chance for our members to follow that example and give back to their communities and to those who need it most,” White said.
The Oregon FFA is part of the National FFA Organization, formerly known as the Future Farmers of America, and is a national youth organization of 649,355 student members — all preparing for leadership and careers in the science, business and technology of agriculture. There are 7,859 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Oregon FFA has more than 6,000 members in 105 chapters throughout the state. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. To learn more, visit the Oregon FFA Facebook page and #TiredofHunger.
To learn more about FFA visit www.oregonffa.com or www.ffa.org.
Kevin White, executive director, Oregon FFA Foundation, 541-604-1350, email@example.com