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Central High School FFA students package meals for families in need

Every year the National Future Farmers of America Convention holds a similar meal packaging event for its National Day of Service, but this year due to COVID-19, students were asked to set up smaller projects locally.
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 5:28 AM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - According to the local program Luke’s Backpack, more than 42% of students in Shenandoah County qualify for free lunch. But over the weekends some of those families may have a hard time affording food.

So, on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020 students at Central High School came together to help out.

18 Central High School FFA students.

“Five of them were supposed to be here today, the rest of them volunteered to come in,” CHS FFA Advisor, Sherry Heishman said.

Over 450 packaged meals, all for the program Luke’s Backpack, which helps students and families in the community who may not be able to afford meals outside of school.

“Everyone needs to eat,” Ryan Mickelwait, an FFA student at CHS, said. “If you’re going to school, if you’re hungry you’re not going to be able to focus, or if you’re working from home, you just as a human you need to eat.”

Every year the National Future Farmers of America Convention holds a similar meal packaging event for its National Day of Service, but this year due to COVID-19, students were asked to set up smaller projects locally.

“FFA is a service organization as well, so it’s important for the students to know that they need to give back because the community gives a lot to them,” Heishman said.

Each bag was filled with 12 items ranging from oatmeal and ramen noodles to smaller snacks like granola bars and crackers. And while it took the Central High Students only about a half hour to package the nearly 500 meals, they weren’t alone in this effort.

“We’re doing this with about six or seven other schools in Virginia, and all the schools together are planning to package about 3,000 meals,” Mickelwait said.

According to Heishman, the plan is to have the meals delivered to families by the end of the week.

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