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U of I Extension award goes to a food donation garden in Cairo

 Sarita Sawyer received the 2022 Extension Diversity in Excellence Award
University of Illinois Extension (provided)
Sarita Sawyer, right, received the 2022 Extension Diversity in Excellence Award from Extension Director Shelly Nickols-Richardson during the Illinois Extension Annual Conference held in November in Urbana.

A University of Illinois Extension employee’s work to fight food insecurity in her community has earned her the Extension’s Excellence in Diversity Award.

U of I Extension reports community outreach worker Sarita Sawyer has been instrumental in recruiting diverse volunteers for the Cairo Pilot Food Donation Garden.

Last year, the group produced more than 700 pounds of food that was harvested by volunteers and delivered to Day Star Emergency Food Pantry to be distributed into the community.

In addition to her work in the garden, Sawyer leads nutrition classes for SNAP-Ed eligible audiences. Some of those topics include buying food on a budget and smart shopping for fruit and vegetables.

The goal is to help eligible families make positive changes in their health and provide them with resources to access local agencies for assistance in their communities.

As a news producer and news anchor on All Things Considered, Brad provides the listeners with a recap of the day's top local and state news as well as breaking news at any given time.
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