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FFA delivers 30,000 pounds of food to Community Action

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 December 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – FFA students in Albion delivered more than 30,000 pounds of food to Community Action this morning. The top photo shows Vivian Rivers, FFA president, handing a box of food to Emilie Barleben.

The FFA has been organizing, collecting and delivering the food to Community Action since 2010. The 30,656 pounds delivered today set a new record for the FFA, topping the 27,000 pounds from last year.

Jared Hollinger, an FFA member, hands a heavy box of produce to Adam Krenning, FFA advisor and Albion agriculture teacher. Kelsee Soule, FFA vice president, is also on the truck.

Students boxed up the produce on Thursday and Friday, and then stacked it on the tractor trailer this morning.

Emilie Barleben and Natalie DiCureia work together carrying a big box of squash.

Garrett Derisley and Katie Mann carry boxes of squash to a second trailer full of food.

The FFA members gathered for a quick photo after loading the tractor trailer. They hold a sign saying “Thank You” to the farms and businesses that donated for the food drive.

There were 22 farms and businesses that donated to the effort, including Call Farms, Costanzo Bakery, Barry Flansburg, Kast Farms, Kirby Farms, Kludt Brothers, Kreher’s Egg Farm, L. Brooke Farms, Müller Yogurt, Nesbitt Fruit Farm, Orchard Dale Fruit Farm, Orleans County Farm Bureau, Panek Farms, Partyka Farms, Pawlak’s Save-A-Lot, Rich Products, Dale Root, Root Brothers, Starowitz Farms, Torrey Farms, Triple G Farms, and CY Farms.

Angela English, a member of the Lord’s House in Waterport, carries a sack of cabbages for the food pantry at the church.

Ten food pantries and three food kitchens received food this morning.

When the trucks pulled up with the food, many of the food pantry volunteers clapped. Annette Finch has worked 38 years at Community Action. She started crying when she thanked the FFA kids for their work on the food drive. FFA students started calling farms about two months ago, trying to line up donations.

“This is a real tribute to young people and we don’t hear enough about the good that young people do,” Finch said.

Russ Peters, pastor of the Alabama Full Gospel Church, carries a bag of potatoes for the church’s food pantry.

Andy Ebbs is the maintenance supervisor for Community Action. He said the FFA food drive is a big help in stocking the food pantry shelves. He also said the Boy Scout food drive is important for Community Action.

Ebbs marvelled about all of the produce, which will be used through the winter.

“It’s simply amazing, especially seeing these girls throw their backs into carrying heavy bags of cabbage,” Ebbs said. “This is a real life-saver for us.”

FFA member Ellen Narburgh carries a sack full of cabbage.

When the Albion FFA first organized a food drive for Community Action during the holidays in 2010, the student organization was able to secure 3,000 pounds in donations. That jumped to 9,000 pounds in 2011, 17,000 the following year and 19,000 in December 2013. Last year it was 27,000 pounds. The FFA set a goal for 30,000 this year and surpassed that mark.