Tama County 4-H Tackles Hunger in their Community

posted on Wednesday, December 23, 2020

“This was an opportunity for our 4-H members to feel a sense of philanthropy and giving,” said Theresa Keefe O’Meara, Elementary School Counselor at North Tama County Community School District. “What a great life-long impacting experience.”


It’s this exact reason we organize Ignite the Spirit, a program that offers 4-H clubs and FFA chapters the opportunity to organize a project aimed at helping local families in need. Like the ISU Extension and Outreach/4-H Tama County, which has a group of 13 high schoolers who make up the County 4-H Council. tc4h

This leadership group represents all three school districts in the county and meets monthly to plan educational, leadership and citizenship activities for the nearly 200 Clover Kids and 4-H members.

This group of 13 said yes to the Ignite the Spirit opportunity and hit the ground running. They planned, coordinated, communicated and organized. They even grocery shopped with two, $250 checks from the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation in hand, picking out healthy sides for the pork loins we also provided.

Then, they took it one step further by including recipes from the ISU Extension publication Spend Smart, Eat Smart and a Healthy and Homemade calendar.

The meal kits were divided equally between the three school districts, where each school’s guidance counselor finished the project by distributing the kits direct to the families they know needed a hand this Christmas.

“Through Ignite the Spirit, these members gained communication skills, by speaking to the necessary people in their schools,” said Jenny Hulme, Tama County Extension. “They worked hard to offer a healthy meal for the families, and also learned about budgeting and how to make dollars stretch. It was a terrific citizenship project.” #IgniteTheSpirit