Area FFA students work with Stamp Out Hunger

FFA students banded together at Lone Grove Schools’ cafeteria for a service project on a grand scale on Monday night. 

Eighth through 12th grade students from Lone Grove, Fox, Dickson, Wilson, Ryan and Ringling worked with Oklahoma nonprofit Stamp Out Starvation to package 40,000 meals for students living in poverty abroad. Cassidy Baughman, chapter reporter for Lone Grove FFA, said this is the third time the school has hosted the event, but the first time they’ve invited multiple schools to participate. 

“In the past we’ve done smaller numbers, but this year it isn’t just our school,” Baughman said. “We have a lot more volunteers because we’ve opened it up.” 

About 60 volunteers participated, donning red hairnets and learning how to measure and portion out hundreds of pounds of dried food. The bagged meals will go to a school in Haiti. 

Baughman said she’s been volunteering with Stamp Out Starvation for several years, starting as a sixth grader at an American Farmers and Ranchers camp. Former Lone Grove FFA members Molly Faught, Megan Faught, Hunter McKinnon and Baughman’s older sister decided, as a group, to bring the organization to their school as a service project. 

“I volunteered with a couple of people from Lone Grove, and so we decided as a group to start hosting this event,” Baughman said. “This year was the first year we really felt comfortable enough to expand it, since we’ve got our feet on the ground.”

Students stood in an assembly line and poured rice, soy, vitamins, minerals, dehydrated vegetables and chicken flavoring into plastic bags. Another row of students weighed, sealed and boxed up the bags for their trip overseas. Each bag contains six servings of food, which can be prepared with boiling water. Each bag needs to weigh exactly the same amount for shipping purposes. 

“I think it’s a good opportunity for kids to learn what service is truly about,” Baughman said. “They get opportunities to serve their community, but this is such a large scale. It takes a lot of sweat and hard work to do it.”