1,000 4-H Hands Feed The Hungry

A large group of young people wearing green shirts and holding a large poster participating in the 2016 North Carolina State 4-H Congress

4-H Hands to Service participants gather in Dorton Arena during State 4-H Congress.

Nearly 500 4-H’ers lived their pledge of “hands to larger service” Monday July 18 as they joined together to pack 80,000 meals for hungry North Carolina families.

The young people, participating in the 2016 North Carolina State 4-H Congress, worked inside a sweltering Dorton Arena to assemble bags of ingredients for lentil casserole.

Feeding Children Everywhere, a nonprofit organization, will send the food to pantries for distribution in each of the state’s 100 counties, said Salim Oden, 4-H’s healthy living coordinator at NC State University.

Oden said that the 4-H’ers who took part had fun and showed a lot of passion during the one-hour event.

Killian Davis, the state 4-H council vice president, added the event is important for 4-H “because it helps us embody the messages that we give to our youth about giving back to our communities, about putting our hands to service and making sure you have a big impact on your community.”

And a big impact is what Brad Fleming, of Feeding Children Everywhere, predicted from the event.

“You could tell the kids were primed and ready to put their hands to service today,” he said. “These 500 people can make a dent in the hunger problem in just an hour’s worth of time.”

State 4-H Congress is an annual assembly of 4-H’ers who get together in Raleigh for workshops, competitions, presentations and other activities. 4-H is the youth development program of NC State University and NC A&T State universities and is offered throughout the state. The organization gets its name from the four Hs in the 4-H pledge: head, heart, hands and health.