Helping those in need and creating a better community are values center to the Hulse Family, 4-H, and United Way.

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During National 4-H week, brothers Selby, Edward, and Burton Hulse of rural Rensselaer, Mo. delivered the meat from one of their steers shown through 4H to the Monroe City Food Pantry. The meat, around 500lbs of hamburger, will be given to families in need who depend upon the food pantry to help put food on their tables.

This is the second of three steers the boys are donating to an area food pantry through United Way’s special initiative Aly’s Project: Youth Feeding the Needy. The project began in 2018 after Aly Francis of Paris, Mo. donated her market hogs to the Paris Senior Center after learning of food insecurity among seniors in her own hometown. Funding from the Aly’s Project initiative was used to pay for the processing of the steer at a local butcher shop.

“If everyone gets a quarter pound cheeseburger that would make 2,000 meals,” said Selby Hulse, age 12. “So, you could feed 2,000 people which is kind of cool.”

For the Hulse boys’ parents, they hope this act will have a much greater impact than just feeding people.

“We believe in paying it forward to those who might need a helping hand,” said Ryan Hulse, the boys’ dad. “Teaching our kids to be loving, generous, God fearing Christians is our number one job as parents. If each of us can do that we will leave this world a better place.”

While delivering the meat to the food pantry, the boys were excited to use the pallet jack and see who could lift the 50+ pound bundles of meat into the freezers. But, the message their parents are trying to instill in their children is hitting home.

“It makes God happy to donate food to the food pantry,” said Burton Hulse, the youngest of the three brothers.

For Sarah Easton, the Youth Program Associate at University of Missouri Extension who oversees the 4-H Program in Marion County, this is a beautiful thing to see during National 4-H week.

“In 4-H, we are all about learning and practicing leadership and citizenship. National 4-H Week is a time to celebrate the remarkable 4-H youth in our community who use these skills and work each day to make a positive impact on those around them. Selby, Edward, and Burton Hulse are a shining example of the character and values 4-H promotes and we are very proud of them!”

Funding for Aly’s Project at United Way comes from the General Mills Hometown Grantmaking Program and the Community Foundation Serving West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.

United Way’s tagline is to “Live United” which promotes working together to make the community a better place. This project is a key example the good that comes from living united.

To learn more about United Way and Aly’s Project you can visit or call 573-221-2761.

To learn more about enrolling your child in 4-H visit or call your local extension office.

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