Anna-Jonesboro Community High School and Dongola High School FFA members worked to raise funds to help support the Shawnee Development Council’s food pantry in Anna. A pallet of food was delivered to the pantry on Thursday, March 14.Pictured are, from the left, Grace Rendleman, Kim Duty, Alyssa Flores, Jacob Whitney, Owen Kennedy, Zach O’Neal, Colin Hall, Evan Treat, Matt Aiden, Logan Rich, Julia Ellis, Nicole Nance and Tyler Shepard.  Photo by Benjamin Marxer.Items were moved into the Shawnee Development Council food pantry after they were delivered on Thursday, March 14. Photo by Benjamin Marxer.

Members of FFA chapters help local food pantry

Members of two Union County FFA chapters have raised over $1,000 to purchase canned goods and other items for a local food pantry. 

In a joint effort, the Dongola High School FFA raised over $500, while the Anna-Jonesboro Community High School FFA raised $600 through donations from classmates and local businesses in under two weeks. This included a $400 donation from Blazing Cane Vending, a local Dongola business. 

The students worked with Sam O’Neal, the manager of the Jonesboro Save-A-Lot, to purchase canned goods and other non-perishable items to restock the shelves of the food pantry. 

O’Neal also provided a trailer to help deliver the food to the Shawnee Development Council’s Union County food pantry. 

The council’s food pantry is located on the grounds of the Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center at 1000 N. Main St. in Anna.

This project began when both groups participated in the #10GallonChallenge, a social media inspired campaign encouraging people and organizations to buy gallons of milk to donate to their local food pantries.

When FFA officers delivered the milk to the Union County food pantry, they saw the need for further assistance. 

The food pantry operates solely on donations, and this time of year can be especially difficult to stay stocked up on supplies. 

“After the holidays we have very few donations come through,” said Paula Stairs, Union County coordinator for the Shawnee Development Council. 

The pallet of food was delivered to the food pantry on Thursday, March 14, to correspond with the observance of National Agriculture Day. Students of both FFA chapters were on hand to help unload the shipment. 

“Union County is very giving,” said Stairs. “If there is a need out there, they are willing to give.” 

The Shawnee Development Council’s Food Pantry served 336 area families in the month of February, including 182 seniors. The food pantry is open every Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

For more information on the food pantry or to learn more about how you can help, call Paula Stairs at 833-7437.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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