Two Bryan County teenagers have taken on a special community project to help alleviate hunger with a program called Garden of Hope. Tiffany Cranford attended a special conference sponsored by the FFA in Washington D.C. recently and came home with an idea that she could do something to help her community.
Cranford is a senior at Achille High School and president of the local FFA Chapter. She attended a leadership conference in Washington D.C. with 300 other FFA students from across the nation. The conference was to get teens involved in community projects when they return home. While there, they worked on an actual project to assist the homeless and it influenced her to address hunger when she returned.
She enlisted the help of Calee Boone, a freshman FFA student from Calera. They came up with the idea of having a Garden of Hope where they will grow vegetables to provide for two families from each school district.
“There are eight districts in the county,” said Cranford. “We will have school administrative personnel select the families who will receive the vegetables because they are in a better position to know who most needs the assistance.”
Her plan is to grow an all-season garden and allow the families to help with the project or other volunteers who may want to become involved. Her first mission is to gain the financial backing of sponsors and she plans on having an invitation banquet to invite potential sponsors. The banquet will be held at the library on July 31.
Cranford has always been an active participant in school activities and once helped organize a blood drive at the school. She raises show animals and serves on the student council and is a member of the National honor Society. She would like to see other FFA Chapters organize similar projects.
She will be a senior this year and hopes to attend Oklahoma State University and become an agriculture teacher in the future. If the program is a success, it will continue on with her friend and assistant Boone taking the helm. Any surplus vegetables will be donated to local food banks.
“I think its great that Tiffany is giving her time and effort to bring awareness to our county about poverty and hunger,” said Calee’s mother Cathey Boone. “She puts other’s needs above hers and hopes people will pay in forward in the future.”