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Students to raise chickens for local food pantry

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Jan Hildebrandt and her 50 FFA students are in the beginning stages of an idea that you could call "outside of the coop."

"It is kind of unique, it's kind of different," Hildebrandt said.

They were trying to think of a way to give back to the community. And ultimately, they were led to the idea to raise chickens.

Call it the gift that keeps on giving. The eggs, and eventually the chicken, are donated to the Trinity Food Pantry in Eau Claire.

They are planning to donate two dozen eggs for every dozen they sell to cover the costs. And already, they have gotten a $1,500 donation to get things going.

"I had been looking in the fall and could not come up with a grant, so when I found this I said, this will be perfect for us," she said.

It is a good experience for the students, and at the same time, solves a big problem. Eggs are usually in short supply at the Trinity Food Pantry.

"We only get them now and then, so to have her supplying us with eggs on what would be a regular basis, that is going to be great," said Sharry Hebert, who is in charge of the Trinity Lutheran Food Pantry.

She says 600 families visit the pantry every month and when eggs are available, they go quick.

It is a school project for the FFA students, but Jan hopes through it, they see a bigger picture.

"That's a powerful thing for kids, and for them to see what that does for the community is huge, and to understand the true impact they can make," she said.

Hildebrandt says the students will begin raising the chickens after spring break and by about the summer, the eggs will be ready to be sold and donated.

One other thing to note as well, she says many of the students in FFA live in the city so a project like this gives them the opportunity to be on a farm.


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