Weekend food program underway

FFA officers, including Carmen Lendt, helped to pack the food bags, at Mark Thomas Company, for the Trinity Weekend Backpack Food Program for families in need.

This fall, the Trinity Weekend Backpack Food Program is underway and FFA members are swinging into action to help out again this year. The Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter applied for a National FFA Yearlong Living to Serve Grant for $3,000 in order to help with the Trinity Backpack program which includes food bags each week and Holiday Gift Boxes. With the generosity of the National FFA, CoBank, Tractor Supply Company, CSX, Chevrolet, and Cargill, the Living to Serve Grant became a reality for the Sleepy Eye FFA.

The Backpack program is for students at risk of hunger who receive bags of food for the weekend— two family meals with main dishes, fruit, vegetables, and a snack. The FFA grant money is being used to help with several extensions of the Backpack Food Program: Birthday boxes for each elementary participant, fruit and snacks in each food bag, a pantry for middle school students which includes food, snacks, and personal care items, as well as personal care items for the Holiday Boxes.

At the end of September, eight officers and the FFA advisors and student teacher were able to pack four weeks worth of meals that will go to the 48 children’s families who are in need. Families self-select for these meals as all families in the district receive a letter telling them about the program at the beginning of the school year.

The FFA is thrilled to be a part of this amazing project that Trinity Lutheran Church conducts in cooperation with Sleepy Eye Public Schools, along with numerous community partners, providing food to students all school year long. Some of the partners include: Central Region Cooperative, Schwartz Farms, Land O Lakes, Sleepy Eye FFA and other community members.

Receiving this $3,000 grant and helping with this project was a great way for Sleepy Eye FFA members to contribute to the community and build relationships while doing so.