K-State Research and Extension News
March 22, 2013
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Food Drive Fills Student’s Room, Efforts to Serve Three Food Pantries


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‘Operation Kick Me Out of My Bedroom’ is Project Theme


NORTONVILLE, Kan. – Children can be creative, especially when it comes to excuses for not cleaning their room. But, if you think you’ve heard everything, read on.

Colby Weishaar is 12; he’s in the seventh grade, and active in school and community activities, including Kansas 4-H.

He lives in Nortonville, in northeast Kansas, and proposed a local, canned food drive to gather enough non-perishable foods to cover the floor of his bedroom as his 4-H community service project for the year.

Weishaar chose a name “Operation Kick Me Out of My Bedroom” that provided a vision for his goal, and composed an appeal letter that he sent to 100 area businesses, Jefferson County 4-H clubs, and extended family and friends.

The response to date, more than 2,100 non-perishable food items and $1,000 in donations to buy additional food, has covered the bedroom floor, filled the room, and is now filling up the family’s basement.

The project has exceeded his and his family’s expectations.

Weishaar said he choose a food drive because new food pantries have opened in the county.

“Giving back to the community is an important part of being a good citizen, and an important part of what I have learned – and practiced – as a 4-H member,” said Weishaar, who dedicated the food drive to Dee Rule, former Jefferson County 4-H Citizenship Project leader who passed away from cancer.

The seventh grader has participated in a variety of 4-H projects and also is at ease working in the garden, taking photos, showing cattle and giving a speech.

He’ll continue the food drive until June, when non-perishable foods and cash donations will be distributed to three Jefferson County, Kan., food pantries: God’s Storehouse in Meriden; Valley Falls Food Pantry in Valley Falls, and Pantry of Hope in Nortonville.

Weishaar is a member of the Lucky 4 4-H Club, and the son of Rob and Bridget Weishaar.

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K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Nancy Peterson
nancyp@ksu.edu
K-State Research & Extension News

Jim Adams, Kansas 4-H Office, 785-532-5800 or jadams@ksu.edu; Linda Gantz, Jefferson County 4-H Program Assistant, 785-863-2212 or gantz@ksu.edu