Professor Leimone Waite, Horticulture Instructor at Shasta College and FFA/4-H supporter, is working with local FFA and 4-H groups to donate frozen meat from the upcoming Jr. Livestock Auction to community food pantries. Every year the Shasta District Fair hosts a Jr. Livestock Auction for 4-H and FFA members who have raised an animal (hog, lamb, steer, or goat). Buyers bid on the animals and then donate the meat they did not need back to the local 4-H and FFA for a BBQ that is part of Anderson Explodes fireworks show and community barbeque. Due to COVID-19 the BBQ has been cancelled for this year and the typically donated meat has no subsequent place or group to be donated to. Professor Waite is hoping buyers who typically would donate to the BBQ will instead consider donating to local food banks this year and has developed a plan to help make that vision a reality.
Professor Waite pitched her idea to some of the food pantries in the local area to see if there was a need and if they could receive the frozen meet. She received an overwhelmingly positive response. Several food banks have recently seen an increase in food insecurity as funds from stimulus checks begin to run out. Professor Waite and her husband have committed to pay for the cut and wrap fees for any of the meat donated to the food banks. They will also coordinate the distribution of the meat to the local pantries and food banks.
When asked, Professor Waite spoke about her family’s involvement and what 4-H has meant to her, “These young people have put a lot of money and effort into raising these animals over the past several months, or year, depending on the animal. My daughter raised goats as one of her 4-H projects, and I felt this project taught her many valuable skills such as responsibility, work ethic, budgeting, leadership, showmanship, and public speaking. Proceeds from the sale of her projects also helped fund her college education.”
For more information about the Jr. Livestock Auction, or to sign up to be a buyer, see the Shasta District Fair website. There will be a place on the buyer’s bid sheet to indicate that you want to donate to the local food banks.