4-H teen spreads EGGcellence in her community
One 4-H teen starts a community project to donate fresh eggs to local food pantries and soup kitchens.
The spring is known for bringing warmer weather to the state of Michigan, but 4-H’er Alyssa Modrich did not know 2012’s warm spring weather would impact her community to the magnitude it has. As a 4-H teen leader from St. Clair County, Alyssa used skills she has learned in 4-H to create a community service project that has had an overwhelming response.
In the spring of 2012, with her laying hens producing more eggs than previous years, she was unsure of what to do with all of the left over eggs. “My refrigerator was bursting at the seams with egg cartons and my usual customers didn’t need anymore,” Modrich said.
She thought back to a trip she took earlier that winter to the St. Martin Lutheran Church Soup Kitchen with the St. Clair County 4-H royal court. It was obvious to her on this trip that many people were struggling and going through hard times, unable to put food on the table for their families.
“After making a few phone calls, I learned that my local food pantry and soup kitchen would gladly accept my donations and even offered receipts for tax deductions,” said Modrich.
Naming her project 4-H Project EGGcellence, Modrich found a way to give back to her community and plans to do so whenever she can. Her attitude and commitment to her community define the essence of 4-H’s Revolution of Responsibility campaign. Revolution of Responsibility is a national campaign which encourages youth to make a positive change in their community. She credits her willingness to give back to her 12 years of involvement with 4-H, admitting it has enriched her life.
“Being a 4-H member has helped me become a more responsible citizen and the smiles I receive when I make an egg delivery are very rewarding,” she said.
As a way to advertise her project and get the community involved, Modrich advertised 4-H Project EGGcellence in the county 4-H newsletter; her county MSU Extension office also sent out county-wide emails. With others willing to join in on the effort, she asked those wishing to donate to send her emails and Facebook messages so she could keep track of how many eggs were being donated.
Not only are the eggs nutritious, but they are also easy to prepare, can be used in a variety of ways, and can be stored in a refrigerator for months. The eggs have been used to cook meals at the food pantry and soup kitchen and have been sent home with people.
Due to a community effort, Alyssa’s project has donated 100 dozen eggs throughout her community. People are not just donating eggs, they are also willing to help with deliveries and provide information on more food pantries she can add to her flyer.
With the community’s full support, Alyssa is hoping to see her project evolve from a county service project to a statewide project with a goal of donating 1,000 dozen eggs.
“If Michigan were able to meet this goal, I wonder if someday it could become a national 4-H community service project with a million dozen eggs donated,” said Modrich.