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MADISON — State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor presented the 2019 Standing Up for Rural Wisconsin Schools, Libraries, and Communities Award today. The honoree is the Food Pantry Project of the Randolph Cambria-Friesland FFA. The award ceremony occurred during the 11th annual Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance Fall Conference in Wisconsin Dells.
“Students in this food pantry project plan, grow, and deliver thousands of pounds of produce to local food pantries every year," Stanford Taylor said. “It's a great example of what makes rural partnerships worth celebrating. In a creative program like this, students not only give back to their communities but also gain leadership and other skills they'll draw on for the rest of their lives."
Randolph Cambria-Friesland FFA, the career and technical student organization for agriculture in the Randolph and Cambria-Friesland school districts, is now in its fifth year of what has become an annual food pantry project. Each year, students plan and design a garden, budget for the project, plant, grow, harvest, package, and deliver the produce to local food banks in Beaver Dam, Cambria, Fox Lake, and Randolph. Over the program's first four years, students donated nearly 9,000 pounds of produce. Along the way, students gain lifelong gardening skills and experience the value of community service.
The Standing Up for Rural Wisconsin Schools, Libraries, and Communities Awards honor partnership efforts involving public schools or libraries along with other rural groups throughout the state. Nominations were made during the summer and fall.
NOTE: More information about the Standing Up for Rural Wisconsin Schools, Libraries, and Communities Awards is available at https://dpi.wi.gov/rural/awards. Photos from the award ceremony are available here.