Several Texas electric cooperatives joined a 1,000-mile tractor ride last fall to fight rural hunger. They raised about $105,000 for food pantries in Central Texas, where nearly 70 percent of public school students qualified for free and reduced lunches in 2012, according to federal data.
Electric cooperative employees from Comanche, Lyntegar, South Plains and United Cooperative Services participated in Tractor Drive 2013: Driving Hunger Out of Rural Texas. They joined lead organizer AgTexas Farm Credit Services, a regional lending cooperative, and local chapters of the National FFA Organization.
“It’s been a lot of work, and it’s been a lot of fun and very rewarding,” said Shirley Dukes, communications and public information specialist at Comanche EC, which hosted three cookouts in late October.
Although the purpose of Tractor Drive 2013 was to raise awareness of local hunger, the co-ops’ fundraisers also drummed up support for 32 Central Texas FFA chapters.