Check Presentation

Verlin Goodyk and Ann Fields, of the Knoxville Food Youth Initiative, present a $500 check to Miss Mary Strawberry (Mary Hanna) at Monday’s school board meeting.

The Knoxville Food Youth Initiative presented a check to Miss Mary Strawberry during the Knoxville School Board’s regular meeting on Oct. 21.

Over the past year, the Knoxville Food Youth Initiative served over 8,400 meals to students across Marion County. The group also bought a car this year, which allowed meals to be served to students in Bussey, Melcher-Dallas and Lovilia, along with Knoxville.

“It was a very successful year for us and a very rewarding year,” said Verlin Goodyk from the Knoxville Food Youth Initiative. “We want to thank the school district for working with us.”

After updating the school board on this year’s progress, Goodyk and Ann Fields presented a $500 check to Mary Hanna, also known as Miss Mary Strawberry.

Hanna visits every elementary classroom in Knoxville four times a year, where she teaches a lesson on nutrition. This year her focus is on farm-to-table. Hanna says she helps the students understand where their food comes from and to appreciate farmers.

After her lesson, Miss Mary Strawberry then provides students with a healthy snack. Right now, her snack is focused around corn. She gives students corn chips, corn salsa and corn bread. Other healthy snacks have included green eggs and ham, fresh vegetables, smoothies, slushies, carrot cake and pumpkin pie in a bag.

The Knoxville Food Youth Initiative’s donation will help Miss Mary Strawberry to cover costs for her lessons.

Emma Skahill can be reached at or by calling the newsroom at 641-842-2155.

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