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McLouth teen organizes event to package nearly 22,000 meals in one day

McLOUTH, Kan. -- A metro teen is feeding her community one meal at a time.

Rising senior Sydny Murr hosted a community-wide meal packaging event after a leadership conference inspired her to do some good in her hometown, McLouth, Kansas.

"FFA has just been something I've grown up in. it's something I've enjoyed." Murr said.

You can call her a farm girl, but Murr just calls herself an ordinary student.

Her family's name runs deep in the farming and agriculture industry in Kansas. Sydny is a member of FFA, formally known as Future Farmers of America, and recently attended a national leadership conference in Washington D.C.

It was an experience she said changed her life.

Sydny Murr

"One thing we actually did there was we did a meal-packaging event, and we packaged 75,000 meals," the 17-year-old said.

Those meals helped people who would otherwise likely go without.

"I knew, looking back at my hometown, that I wanted to help people," Murr said.

She wanted to help in her community and didn't waste any time getting to work.

"After that day I just knew, I knew I had to bring it home. I even texted my adviser. I was like, Ms. Hinrichsen, we have to do this!' It was so cool," she said.

She brought it home indeed, hitting a home run, so to speak.

"It reaches in all of the small communities in northeast Kansas." said Pastor David Shrum with McLouth United Methodist Church.

Shrum called Sydny driven, saying the selfless teenager is making a big impact in the lives around her.

"She likes to do things that will benefit the people around her, the community," Shrum said.

Sydny connected with the Meals of Hope program, the same program she packaged meals for in Washington D.C. and got the ball rolling.

"I want to know that they're going to go home and know that they're going to have something to eat, just make sure their home life can improve a little bit," Murr said.

She was able to recruit a team to help her achieve her goal.

"One hundred volunteers for this event," Murr said.

But before she could host it, she had to get the financial backing. She and her friends set up fundraisers, doing everything from selling poinsettias to baked goods. Within a short amount of time, they reached their monetary goal.

"We raised $6,000 to pay for those meals." Murr said.

They were dry meals that the group assembled to distribute throughout the community.

"21,728 meals that day." Murr said.

Most of the meals went to the Kansas Food Bank. Others were dropped off at the Jefferson County Conservation District as well as some local churches.

Sydny plans to do it again next year.

"Things aren't always what they are, but it's what it can become," Murr said.

Sydny is also a 4-H member and is involved in basketball, volleyball, cross country and softball. She one day hopes to become a veterinarian and own her own clinic.

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