THORNTOWN, Ind. — Members of the Western Boone FFA Chapter have stayed busy the last several weeks, despite not being in school, by starting a fundraiser aimed at helping those in their community who are facing difficult times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Milk and Meat Campaign for Boone County was started after FFA chapter members saw on the news dairy farmers dumping milk when they couldn’t get it to their normal markets due to restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Jaden Maze, president of the Western Boone FFA Chapter, said that after she and her FFA peers saw milk being dumped on television, they began brainstorming ways they could give back to the less fortunate in their community while helping support local farmers.
“We decided to buy meat and dairy products from local farmers and donate them to local food pantries,” Maze said, adding that before the chapter could start buying meat and milk, they had to raise money.
Maze said the FFA chapter donated $1,000 of its own funds as seed money for the cause.
Along with a $1,000 donation from an anonymous donor, the chapter received an additional $2,000 in donations from local organizations to help fund the project before it went public.
Maze said Prairie Farms has helped coordinate with the chapter to arrange the donation of 500 gallons of milk monthly during the pandemic to food pantries and organizations in Boone County, including the local Boys and Girls Club.
The FFA chapter president added that they are working with local farmers and meat shops to get hundreds of pounds of beef and pork to donate to those in need, as well.
“It is awesome that as an FFA chapter we are able to help people in need during this pandemic,” said Korden Bush, the assistant reporter for the Western Boone FFA Chapter.
Bush noted that through the campaign his FFA chapter is able to provide food for individuals in the community that need the assistance right now and they won’t have to go hungry during these difficult times.
Since the FFA chapter started the fundraiser about a month ago, Maze said that they have already raised $15,000 and are quickly approaching their $20,000 goal.
The Milk and Meat Campaign for Boone County also has caught the attention of the National FFA Organization, which highlighted the FFA chapter’s efforts on social media platforms, and Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, who mentioned their efforts in one of his daily COVID-19 press briefings.
To donate to the Milk and Meat Campaign for Boone County, monetary donations can be mailed to: Western Boone High School, Attention Lori Keppel, 1205 IN-75, Thorntown, IN 46071. Checks should be made out to Western Boone FFA.