Over the past few years, the agro-science program at Ledyard High School has worked to fight hunger in the community.
This year, as the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic become increasingly apparent, the program has taken on an additional task of donating to pantries in each of the 12 cities it serves.
Students raised poultry, collected and packed eggs, and grew tomato plants for donations.
The initiative was successful, as the Agri-Science program was able to donate 10 tomato plants, 10 dozen eggs and seven frozen whole chickens to 12 pantries (Ledyard, Lisbon, Groton, Montville, East Lyme , Old Lyme, Waterford, Norwich, Stonington, North Stonington, Preston and New London).
A total of 120 tomato plants, 120 dozen eggs and 77 whole chickens were donated.
The following companies or organizations provided sponsorship to fund the project and make it a success: Farm Credit, Nutrena, Flemings Feed Store and Ledyard Regional FFA Chapter.
“Our goal is to teach students in our program where our food comes from and how we can make a difference in our own community by helping to fight hunger,” said Devon O’Keefe, education leader. by Ledyard Agri-Science. “Our FFA motto is Learn to do, do to learn, earn to live and live to serve. They used the knowledge from their classes to learn how to do and learn how to grow or raise their food, then they participated in Doing to Learn by raising animals and plants, they learned how to earn for a living if they sold them. products they raised and then lived to serve their community by donating to pantries, ”continued O’Keefe.
Taylor DeFelice, a grade 11 LHS agro-science student at Ledyard, says, “I went to two different pantries to deliver our donations. When we delivered the food, they were very grateful and offered to show us around their farm to see how they worked. I noticed that in both they had a lot of canned goods but not a lot of other items you would need like toothpaste and toilet paper. When we asked them what they needed most, they both answered items like meat and milk.
Leah Petersen, a ninth grade student in Montville, explains: “I helped raise the meat birds by feeding and treating them every morning before school started. I enjoyed learning how to raise meat birds and hope to continue to help raise meat birds, grow vegetables or donate eggs for our community.
Grade 11 student Cecilia Campbell sums up the experience by saying, “It was really cool to be able to see where the food that we put so much time and effort into has gone; and knowing that it was going to be used to help those in need.
Agri-Science staff and students have finished dropping off their donations to local pantries for this academic year. The value of all donated combined products was $ 4,800.
Aidan Schuler lives in Ledyard and is a member of the Times Young Journalists Initiative. To learn more, email [email protected].