The impact of mac and cheese in a community

By Spencer Drake

The 4-H Pledge has a line that says, “We pledge our hands to larger service.” This line portrays what Louisiana 4-H stands for and why they do what they do. Louisiana 4-H is the largest youth development program, with clubs and groups in all 64 parishes.

For the last 20 years, the local 4-H has held a late winter parish-wide food drive to help with the Christian Community Action. Each year the drive happens at the same time. There are an abundance of food drives during the holidays, but not very many afterwards. This late winter drive allows for the shelves to be replenished after a busy holiday season. 

What makes this drive unique is the singular food item that is chosen every year. This year the food chosen is macaroni and cheese. This provides a certain consistency of something that is very well liked as well as it ensures that perished or damaged food items are not being used. 

Amanda Simmons, the 4-H agent for Lincoln Parish for the past 20 years, stated the importance of everyone pitching in to support the cause of the food drive. 

“There are people in our community that may not have the resources to be able to provide a meal for themselves or their families on a consistent basis and we would like to help them. No one should go hungry,” said Simmons.

The goal of every drive is around 300-500 boxes. This year, the goal of the drive is to collect 500 individual boxes of macaroni and cheese. However, Simmons made sure to state the real goal of the drive, besides the number of items collected. 

“Anytime we can contribute to serving our community no matter how big or small teaches our youth to be good citizens and the importance of helping others. At the same time, if we help just one family with meeting their needs the service is valuable,” said Simmons.

To learn more about 4-H, becoming involved, and volunteer opportunities please call the Lincoln Parish 4-H Office at 318-251-5134.