ORAN, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- An interest in agriculture inspired a 15-year old from Wapsie Valley to organize a unique fundraiser. Kyle Voy is behind a caravan of tractors you might see this summer in Fayette and Buchanan Counties. His tractorcade is a simple idea that's had a huge impact on a food pantry in Oran. It started as a service project through his church, St. Peter's. "I decided to do a tractor ride to support the food bank, and it was pretty small to begin with," says Voy.
Kyle Voy, February Student of the Month
Voy's first tractorcade in 2015 raised $1,500. Last year, he raised $1,700 for His Hands Food Pantry. Individuals pay $25 to join the ride and enjoy a meal afterward. Businesses also pitched in for Voy's cause. Following the fundraiser, Voy helped shop for items to fill the pantry, including hygiene items and paper products that food stamps won't cover. He also learned how to order food from the Northeast Iowa Food Bank in Waterloo, which helps supply the pantry in Oran. His Hands opened five years ago to serve smaller communities in the Cedar Valley. An average of 74 families visit His Hands each month. In 2016, volunteers distributed 57,500 pounds of food. "[He's] very insightful; very prestigious for a person of this age to be able to understand the impact within the local community as well as beyond," says Ellen Doese, who teaches agriculture and serves as Voy's FFA advisor at Wapsie Valley.
Voy's family farms on 500 acres not far from the food pantry. A childhood with roots in farming inspired Kyle's love of agriculture, which led to feeding local families. "This interest, this love of agriculture and tractors and tractorcades has made it so much better for so many more people," says John Rich, who adds that financial donations can go a long way at the food pantry.
This summer's tractorcade is scheduled for July 8.