Some know this line — Living to Serve — as the last in the FFA Motto.

Some know this line — Living to Serve — as the last in the FFA Motto. For Sleepy Eye FFA members, service may be one of the first words they think of when they think of what FFA is all about. This fall, the Sleepy Eye FFA Chapter applied for a National FFA Living to Serve Grant for $400 in order to help with the Trinity Church Backpack program, which includes Holiday Gift Boxes. With the generosity of the National FFA, CSX, and Tractor Supply Company, the Living to Serve Grant became a reality for the Sleepy Eye FFA.

The Backpack program is where students at risk for hunger receive bags of food for the weekend, with a family meal including main dishes, fruit, vegetables, and a snack. The grant was used to help with the extension of the Backpack Food Program for the Holidays. The holiday round will also include a holiday box of food with four to five meals, a tie blanket, and personal care items.

Twenty-five FFA members were able to cut and tie 11 blankets that went into the holiday boxes for the families. Seventeen members were also able to pack the meals that went to the 47 children’s families in need. FFA advisor, Mrs. Hoffmann, and one other member shopped for the personal care items that went into the holiday boxes for the families. These items included toothbrushes, toothpaste, kids shampoo, and kids body wash. The $400 grant helped to fund eight boxes of food for the families, as well as all of the personal care items.

There were 27 FFA membered involved in all aspects of this grant, each contributing an average of two hours of community service. There were 15 non-FFA members helping with this project, as well as 40 adult members.

The FFA was just a small part of this amazing project that the Trinity church conducts, along with numerous community partners, providing food to students all school year long. Receiving this grant and helping with this project was a great way for FFA members to contribute to the community and build relationships while doing so