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State Honoree

Kristen Stryker

Ohio

and a student at Faircrest Memorial Middle School, maintains a vegetable garden in her backyard and donates the harvest to needy Native Americans in her area. Kristen, whose grandmother is half Native American, felt a connection to those who share her heritage. When she heard that the nearby Allegheny Indian Center was a beneficiary of the national “Plant a Row for the Hungry” program, she was eager to participate. “I have been blessed with many things, one of which is enough land to grow a garden that provides more food than we are able to preserve,” Kristen said. After planting rows of zucchini, yellow squash and green and purple beans, Kristen worked one hour every morning and one every evening from March through August weeding, watering and mulching the garden. Not only did the people who received Kristen’s fresh vegetables enjoy their health benefits, but the Allegheny Indian Center was able to purchase other necessary items with the money saved. Now Kristen hopes to encourage her 4-H club to adopt “Plant a Row for the Hungry” as its countywide service project. “I think this project has helped me become more sensitive to the needs of others.”