Monday, May 23, 2016 03:00 PM


Autumn Langford had at least 50,000 reasons to be excited recently at Northwest Whitfield High School.

The senior and several other students and members of the school’s FFA (Future Farmers of America) organization spent the morning putting together meals for needy families in Whitfield County.

Throughout the year Northwest’s FFA chapter and fellow classmates raised more than $12,500 for the Meals of Hope food packing event. Students raised money through quarter donations. There was a challenge between the grades and whoever brought in the most quarters was selected to help pack.

More than 20 local sponsors also donated, in addition to students using funds from their annual plant sale.

Meals of Hope was started in 2007 by Stephen Popper, who felt there was a need to feed the poor within the United States. The first food packing event took place in August of that year. Popper and high school volunteers  packed 135,000 meals for communities in Florida.

To date, more than 32 million meals have been packed, according to the website

Langford was inspired last June while attending the Washington Leadership Conference in D.C. sponsored by the national FFA organization. She decided to come back home and do something similar.

“At the conference we had ...

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See also: Lyle Industries