News: NHS- FFA Helps Families In Need (2021)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Gerhardt, Loberg, Canfield, Gilles, Kipp, Moen, Oldham, Morrow

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co., WI) 8/11/2021

Neillsville FFA Helps Families In Need With Ice Cream Social

Dayne Loberg (left, middle) hand bowls of ice cream to a group of kids who stopped by an ice cream social last Wednesday organized by the Neillsville FFA. Loberg and fellow Neillsville FFA members Bridget Canfield, Austin Gilles, Jacob Kopp, Emma Moen and Courtney Oldham were at the event to serve ice cream to those who came by.

By Ryan Spoehr

Some local FFA students created a first in an event last week, and in doing so gave a helping hand to the local food pantry. Plus, they helped get a summertime favorite to folks on a warm day in Neillsville.

Members of the Neillsville FFA organized an ice cream social on Aug. 4 to encourage donations toward milk and dairy purchase for the Clark County Area Food Pantry and Resource Center.

“We’ve never done this before,” said Amy Gerhardt of Neillsville FFA.

On that afternoon, Gerhardt and FFA students Bridget Canfield, Austin Gilles, Jacob Kopp, Dayne Loberg, Emma Moen and Courtney Oldham helped serve ice cream to folks who stopped by.

The ice cream was free, but there was a donation jar next to the cooler where the ice cream was at a table outside the food pantry.

The FFA served 150 people outside the food pantry that day. In total, the FFA raised $300 that will be used to purchase milk vouchers for the pantry.

“We are very appreciative of that,” said Judy Morrow, who runs the food pantry.

Gerhardt said it didn’t take long to put together the ice cream social. She said it was about a couple of weeks.

The FFA worked with the Clark County Dairy Promotion Committee to get the ice cream ready for the event, and it took off from there.

“It didn’t take much. We had one meeting where we pretty much planned everything,” Oldham said.

The impetus for this was National Ice Cream Month, which was in July. “We just kind of wanted to celebrate dairy,” Oldham said.

The donations are going to the food pantry so families can get milk and cheese,” Moen added.

Even though the event eventually happened just few days after July ended, the students were passionate about having some sort of event that honored National Ice Cream Month but gave back to the community somehow and heled those in need.

‘A lot of families are struggling. A lot of dairy farms are struggling. So, if we can help support dairy and then help families get some more food, it’s great,” Moen said.

The event started at 2 p.m. and lasted for a few hours.

“Our FFA is honored to support local diary famers by purchasing ice cream to scoop for our community. It is an even larger honor to support dairy famers and local grocers to provide milk to families serviced at the food pantry,” Gerhardt wrote in an email.

Morrow was pleased with the event for several reasons, including it being several months after the food pantry relocated. “I think it’s wonderful they chose to have it outside the food pantry in that parking lot because that gives people more awareness where the food pantry is,” Morrow said.

The food pantry is now on USH 10 after it moved from its previous location on W. 5th Street. This was a continuation of a long working relationship between the food pantry and the Neillsville FFA.

“Amy Gerhardt and FFA are great,” Morrow said. “They’re great supporters of the food pantry and they always have been.”

Sarah (right) and Anissa pick up ice cream at an ice cream social organized by the Neillsville FFA Aug. 4. The ice cream was free, but people were encouraged to donate money that will be used for dairy vouches at the Clark County Area Food pantry and Resource Center. Ryan Spoehr/Clark County Press photos



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