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FFA WEEK: Enough to feed 19,000 people

By Staff | Feb 19, 2017

THE MANSON NORTHWEST WEBSTER FFA’s ag leaders class was a large part of the efforts to host a “Then Feed Just One” event where FFA members, with the help of the community, helped back over 19,000 to be sent to those in need in Honduras.

MANSON – The Manson Northwest Webster FFA chapter works hard each year on several community service projects.

Most recently, one of those projects included helping to feed more than 19,000 people.

On Jan. 15, the FFA chapter collaborated with the non-profit group of “Then Feed Just One” to package meals to be sent to starving children and their families living in Honduras.

Samantha Ruhland, a sophomore member of the Manson Northwest Webster FFA chapter, said with two-thirds of the Honduras population living in poverty, and one-third with the potential to die of malnutrition, the food packaging day was something that is important and gave her and her fellow FFA members a sense of pride.

“I was very proud to be helping these people,” said Ruhland.

“They had the value of experiences such as event planning, leadership skills, public speaking with a school presentation ... as well as servant/leading types of skills.” —Doug Gaul FFA advisor, Manson Northwest Webster

Others that helped that day felt as if they were needed and that they were definitely making a large impact.

“I felt like we were saving lives,” said Brian Pearson.

Doug Gaul, FFA advisor, said his ag leaders class was instrumental in getting the meal packaging day organized. As a community service project, it provided them with several experiences.

First was fundraising for the project’s supplies, where they raised $2,600.

“They had the value of experiences such as event planning, leadership skills, public speaking with a school presentation they gave, as well as servant/leading types of skills,” said Gaul.

He added several of his FFA members, as well as community members, gathered to fill 100 shifts for the meal packaging event, teaming with the Manson chapter of Knights of Columbus.

On Jan. 15, Ruhland said participants began setting up the assembly line and began packaging meals at noon and by 3 p.m. had packaged 19,656 meals.

The meals are high in nutrition and are comprised of four major food ingredients including rice, soy, freeze-dried vegetables and a powder of minerals and vitamins.

The students had an opportunity to sample one of their meals and they agreed it was tasty, but probably could use a little seasoning. They also agreed knowing the meals actually taste good made them all feel even a little better about sending them to those in need in Honduras.

Gaul said he anticipates his chapter may hold a similar event in the next few years.

“It impacts a lot of lives to help improve their health, in addition as it being a good learning experience for the kids,” he said.

The Manson Northwest Webster FFA chapter is an active chapter with several of it 48 members competing in contests, plus Supervised Agricultural Experience projects.

These projects, Gaul said, involve anything the students are interested and involved in outside of school.

Some of these projects include trapping, farming and livestock.

Within the classroom, Gaul said they are raising chickens, have added shrimp to their aquaculture project, have a greenhouse and a test plot.

The students are involved with those class projects that are all located on the school’s campus.

For the upcoming FFA week, Gaul said the chapter will have pedal tractor races in the lunch room, have an FFA t-shirt day and a cherry pie feed for the teachers.

The 2017 contest season also begins that week featuring several career developing events.

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