COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The West Ohio Food Bank, Ridgemont FFA, and Peace Corp volunteers and international students recently partnered to teach fourth- and fifth-grade students at the 2013 Micki Zartman Scarlet and Gray Ag Day about poverty and hunger on local and global scales.
Scarlet and Gray Ag Day is an annual educational event that this year hosted 385 elementary students from Franklin and Delaware counties. It was held April 19 on Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences campus.
The 30-minute hands-on session, “Kids Feeding Kids,” asked students what role they would play in meeting the future demands of feeding the world as the world’s population reaches 9 billion by 2050. Students participated in a hunger awareness activity to demonstrate the unequal distribution of resources around the world.
As part of the session, students also assembled backpacks full of a weekend’s worth of meals as part of West Ohio Food Bank’s Backpack Program. The backpacks will be given to students in Lima City Schools who are on free or reduced-cost lunches and breakfasts.
Gary Bright, CEO of the West Ohio Food Bank in Lima, said the organization’s participation in Scarlet and Gray Ag Day "is another outlet to discuss the issue of hunger and raise awareness for the West Ohio Food Bank and its mission to create a hunger-free west-central Ohio.”
Stephanie Jolliff, advisor of the Ridgemont FFA agricultural education program, said the opportunity for her students to work with the West Ohio Food Bank and the Backpack Program gives them a “heart for service.”
After the session, students were challenged to seek ways to continue their role as “Kids Feeding Kids.”
One way anyone can take action is by voting for the West Ohio Food Bank in Walmart’s Fighting Hunger Together Competition. Go to http://www.wofb.org and follow the Walmart icon. The deadline to vote is April 30. The grant would award $45,000 to the West Ohio Food Bank for its Backpack Program.
Scarlet and Gray Ag Day demonstrates the importance of agriculture through hands-on sessions ranging from aquaculture to calf microbiology. Next year's event will be in April 2014.