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Canstruction

Arbuckle | Colusa County Status: Completed Categories: Citizenship, Food and Nutrition Youth Leader: Mary | Age: 15

In our challenging economic times, it can be tough to make ends meet. Keeping our local assistance centers stocked with food and supplies that people need in a pinch can really help. Most of the jobs in our community are agriculture-based and the difference between a full week of work and a lean week can be a day or two of rain, something that is out of human control!

How has 4-H helped?

This was a multi-faceted project with two main goals. The first was to provide the Arbuckle Family Action Center with canned goods they could use for the families and individuals who need a bit of help. The second was to promote 4-H and the 2013 Colusa County Fair with an artfully engineered display of canned foods that highlighted the skills and hard work of our members. Once we found out we were awarded the grant, the members (all daughters of almond farmers) decided to create a tree complete with a trunk, roots, green grass and sky in the background since the fair's theme was Crops, Crafts and Critters. Label colors, size, shape, stack-ability, cost, availability in large quantities, and use value for the individuals who would receive the food after the fair were factors taken into consideration. The members created an eye-catching educational display board crediting the Revolution of Responsibility program, highlighting 4-H facts and briefly describing the impact of the Family Action Center's food assistance efforts. After the fair, the sculpture was dismantled and the food was delivered to the Family Action Center for local distribution.

The Impact

The tree was amazing! It was stable and it really looked like a tree from an orchard that you might find in our county. We heard it described as having a "wow factor" that really featured the skills 4-H members hone as they participate and give back to their communities. This display represented 4-H well. Project members were proud to support the Family Action Center. Fair attendees who viewed the display learned of the services the FAC offers to our community. With 1,964 individuals benefiting from the FAC's food assistance programs in 2011/2012, we know the donated food will be appreciated by many neighbors in need. We partnered with Food 4 Less in Woodland, the Arbuckle Family Action Center, Joseph M. Marsh Farms, and Chamisal Creek Farms. The members created a very attractive and informative educational display board and each had a list of talking points in case anyone asked them about their display. A news release and photo was shared with three local papers.