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University of Illinois

4-Hers package 11,000 meals for families in need

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2013

4-H club members from St. Clair are fighting back to end hunger in their communities. In two hours, the crew of 72 volunteers packaged almost 11,000 meals which were distributed to local food pantries throughout St. Clair County.

The effort was part of the Illini Fighting Hunger program. The meals were a soy-fortified rice casserole mix and will be used be the pantries to feed families in need, said Bill Million, University of Illinois Extension state 4-H specialist.

Funding for this event came from the Howard G. Buffet Foundation and the Invest An Acre program. U of I Extension, through Illinois 4-H's Feeding and Growing Our Communities effort, hopes to engage 500 youth and 100 adults in programs annually which address hunger awareness and food securities in Illinois communities.

The 4-H members also impacted their community this summer by planting community gardens in the St. Clair County area, then sharing the produce with families in need.

"Hunger is closer than you think," said Frank Dorris, Extension program coordinator. "Through these activities, youth are stepping up to take responsible actions toward ending hunger.

"Hunger becomes very real when you see the difference their help is making," Dorris said. "4-H is educating young people on the issues of food security and hunger relief, and empowering them to take action on this critical issue now, and as future leaders."

The packaging was conducted Saturday, Nov. 2 at the Ag Building in Scheve Park in Mascoutah.

To become involved in a 4-H program in St. Clair County, one may contact Dorris at 618-939-3434 or email him at fdorris@illinois.edu .

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About 4-H: Illinois 4-H strives to help youth learn skills for living. University of Illinois Extension provides 4-H programs in every county in Illinois. Illinois 4-H aims to impact the lives of 250,000 youth each year through sustained learning clubs and groups and short-term programming.

Source: William J. Million, Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development, wmillion@illinois.edu

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