09/12/10 — 4-H collect food for hungry

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4-H collect food for hungry

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on September 12, 2010 1:50 AM

Wayne County 4-H'ers will be using part of their time at the county fair this year to fight hunger in their community.

Local 4-H'ers will participate in the Healthy Food Drive the week of the county fair, collecting canned goods for the Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina.

When Wayne County 4-H program associate Nancy Howell read statistics stating that one out of every five children in North Carolina lives in a household that is forced to reduce its meals or change its normal eating pattern, it reinforced the importance of the state project.

"We'll have green and white food bins set up at each gate for people to drop off their canned goods in as they enter the fair," Mrs. Howell said.

The goal is to get 500 cans each day of the fair for a total of 5,000 cans of food.

There will also be a drop-off site at the Wayne Center in Goldsboro.

Mrs. Howell said the food will help children who go hungry because their parents can't afford food.

"That breaks my heart to know there are children going hungry," she said.

She also said that statistics show many households are forced to make difficult choices between food and other basics like heating fuel, house mortgage, transportation, medicine and medical care.

"That's unacceptable," she said.

In addition to collecting canned goods, Wayne County 4-H'ers will also take a day in the near future to go to a nearby field to glean sweet potatoes. They will be donated to the Community Soup Kitchen.

The goal is to glean 1,000 sweet potatoes.

Local 4-H'ers got a first hand taste of how it feels to have very little to eat when they attended state 4-H congress this past summer.

"Instead of the traditional meal they usually get at congress, they got a bowl of rice and water to wash it down with," Mrs. Howell said. "I'm sure that made a big impact on our kids."

She said these projects will make the young people aware of what's going on in the world.

"And it will bring it home to them when they realize that there are children out there their age whose parents are having to choose between feeding their children and taking them to the doctor."

The Healthy Food Drive project goes on for the next three years.