What started out as an opportunity to teach pie making became a community service project involving 30 adult and youth volunteers distributing pies to Shiawassee County families for their holiday meals. Last year’s 4-H Pies for the Holidays event was so successful that it was repeated this year and may become an annual event. On Oct. 8, Michigan State University Extension Shiawassee County 4-Hvolunteers used their 4-H Food Stand space located on the Shiawassee County Fairgrounds to train 4-H members and adult volunteers in the art of classic pie making. Volunteers got back to basics when they learned to make crust, peel apples and assemble the pies. The pies were given to schools that provide the ingredients for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, such as turkey and all of the fixings, to families with limited resources. The 4-H pies serve as dessert.
Volunteers created 204 pies using 100 pounds of flour, 90 pounds of sugar, 12 bushels of apples and many other ingredients. They packaged the unbaked pies in boxes that included baking instructions. Families who receive the pies can enjoy the aroma and experience of baking the pies as well as enjoy the delicious flavor.
This is just another example of the 4-H Revolution of Responsibility in action. Volunteers took a learning experience and created a way to take what they learned to make a difference in the community.
Said MSU Extension educator Jennifer Weichel, “This event is totally volunteer-driven, organized and run. Elaine Prine, a 4-H volunteer, came up with the idea of teaching pie making and through group discussion, it grew into 4-H Pies for the Holidays. I support the activity through promotion of the event, but all of the credit goes to the 4-H volunteers that make this event reality.”
Jennifer would also like to thank the people and businesses who donated supplies.
By the way, the 4-H Food Stand is owned and operated by the Shiawassee County 4-H Council. It’s open during Fair Week and for horse shows that use the fairgrounds from May to October. The 4-H Food Stand supports 4-H opportunities for leaders and members such as Kettunen Center workshops, leader and member awards, trips and similar experiences.