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INDIANAPOLIS–You may have participated in a service project in your community. The students, advisors and alumni attending the FFA Convention in Indianapolis make service a part of their focus. They had the opportunity to take part in the first-ever on-site National Day of Service event, and central Indiana was the benficiary.

They had the opportunity to build and paint 100 Little Free Pantries, which resemble tiny houses and are filled with donated non-perishable food items and hygiene products to be placed around Indianapolis. Convention attendees also wrote cards to go in meal boxes for Meals on Wheels of Central Indiana.

“Historically, we host National Days of Service out in the community, but because of the lingering effects of COVID-19, we have decided to move the service project indoors,” said Michelle Sullivan, senior manager of local engagement for FFA,

“It’s the first time we’ve ever done it and we’re really excited to see what the outcome is going to be this year.”

Sullivan said one of FFA’s national focuses is on hunger, which is reflected on their website in a video that trains FFA members how to put together service projects.

“The cards for Meals on Wheels provide an opportunity for everyone attending convention to make an impact on the Indianapolis community,” said Sullivan. “We want to make sure everybody has an opportunity to build a pantry while at convention. We’ve also created a supplemental guide that actually walks people through exactly how to build a pantry, just like we’re doing on the Expo floor.”

Some of the participants were from Indiana.

“It shows FFA members all the opportunities they have to help their community and make an impact, even if it’s just something small like this making a food pantry box to put around your own hometown or state,” said Breanna Thompson, a junior from Warsaw FFA in Warsaw, who added that the Little Free Pantries, though little, will have big impact.