4-H program addresses food insecurity in Eastern Iowa

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 11:07 PM CDT
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LINN COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) - A few years ago, the Linn and Benton County 4-H programs partnered to start the Broiler Chick project. The goal was to get more kids interested in learning about meat birds, and give back to the community.

Linn County Youth Coordinator JD Otterbein says it’s a learning experience for the whole family. Students of all ages learn how to care for the chickens, then present their work at county fairs before the chickens are harvested. Otterbein says it also helps them grow their communication skills.

The project has donated more than 1,300 pounds of poultry to HACAP in the past three years. But for the non-profit, the reward is more than just the meat. It’s the awareness raised for food insecurity in the area. “I would say that of all the times throughout the last three years, I would say that right now is probably the most challenging time that we’ve had, mostly because of the rising costs of groceries, the increase in need as it relates to people that are, you know, people that are out of work, people that are underpaid,” says HACAP Food Reservoir Director Kim Guardado.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Broiler Chick Project can find information here.