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4-H'er addresses food insecurity

Avani Rai at the recent McLean County Ag Awareness Breakfast in Bloomington.

BLOOMINGTON – Central Illinois high school senior Avani Rai has worked to address food insecurity across the state and was recognized for it.

She was the national 4-H Youth in Action Pillar Award runner-up and spoke at the recent McLean County Chamber of Commerce Ag Awareness Breakfast. Rai believes it is important to work with public and private partnerships within agri-business to see how the food insecurity crisis can be addressed together.

“As a part of 4-H, I belong to three clubs – the McLean County Teen Teachers, the Illinois Healthy Living Ambassadors and the Illinois Food Advocacy Team,” explained Rai. “Along with those three teams, I’ve been fortunate to work with amazing mentors and peers.”

Through Rai’s efforts, $23,000 of grant funding has been sent out for three youth-led projects for food insecurity.

“Several of those projects have taken place in McLean County but also in other counties that have a strong 4-H presence.”

Rai has lived in Bloomington-Normal her entire life and has been a part of McLean County 4-H since she was 10.

“4-H has been one of the most influential factors in my life,” Rai recalled.

She credits 4-H with providing confidence and skills needed to make her a better public speaker, leader and servant to the community. Rai plans to attend college but is waiting to hear back on college acceptances before making a final decision in May. She plans to study something related to economies, business and finance before moving on to get a law degree.

Enacting positive legislation to make positive changes is a goal for Rai.


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