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August 1st, 2019

On Thursday, July 25, 2019, Spalding County 4-H’ers visited Rushton’s Hope a local food pantry. The tour of the facility was led by staff member Lorenzo Chatman and the 4-Hers had the opportunity to meet Pastor Ron Cook and his wife, Wanda Cook, where are the founders of Rushton’s Hope.

The tour began in the food pantry storage area where one 4-H’er immediately noticed the need for peanut butter as the shelf had one lonely jar. Mr. Chapman explained Rushton’s Hope receives no government funding. All donations received are from local businesses, churches, and citizens who feel compelled to help. High demand food items in the pantry are portable protein foods like peanut butter, vienna sausages, and potted meat. These items are better suited for the homeless who may not have access to a can opener, microwave, or other utensils.

The main area of Rushton’s Hope contains donated furniture, appliances, bedding, pots, and pans. The 4-H’ers toured the clothes closet and the Hope for Family Life resource center for families. The tour ended at The Roots Community Garden outside Rushton’s Hope and while the smell wasn’t too pleasant, 4-H’ers enjoyed looking at the squiggly worms and grubs crawling in the compost bin.

4-H’ers then returned to the 4-H office where Chelsea Howell (EFNEP Program Assistant) taught them the value of cooking meals at home and eating healthy on a budget. Melissa Slaughter (Secretary and Coupon Connoisseur) played “Guess how much I paid” a game that teaches children to buy items when the price is low and even pair the item with a coupon for extra savings.

The purpose of this trip was to prepare the 4-H’ers for the upcoming Pantry Pride Recipe Contest sponsored by the Georgia Food Bank Association and the Arby’s Foundation. 4- H’ers learn about local poverty and hunger and are challenged to create a recipe using ingredients commonly found in Georgia Food Banks. 4-H contestants and recipes will be announced in the Fall.

For more information, contact Spalding County Extension at 770-467-4225.
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