Kids Against Hunger’s new campaign under wayFor the third time in as many years the Jamestown Kiwanis Club will undertake another Kids Against Hunger Campaign. At two events in 2011 Kiwanis Club member and 900 volunteers packaged 318,500 meals, with community donations totaling $49,000 with $25,000 in matched donations.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
For the third time in as many years the Jamestown Kiwanis Club will undertake another Kids Against Hunger Campaign.
At two events in 2011 Kiwanis Club member and 900 volunteers packaged 318,500 meals, with community donations totaling $49,000 with $25,000 in matched donations.
Kiwanis wants to add an additional 100,000 meals in March and the group needs to raise slightly more than $10,000 by the end of the month to meet that goal.
An anonymous donor has already pledged a matching donation up to $10,000.
“The reason we’re doing it is every minute of the day 12 kids die of starvation somewhere in the world,” said Don Bentz, Kids Against Hunger committee member for Kiwanis.
The process is a simple one but requires teamwork to package the meals.
White rice, crushed soy, a dehydrated blend of six vegetables, and vitamin and mineral powder will be purchased in bulk by Kiwanis with the money raised.
Volunteers will each add one of the ingredients above into a bag until the meal is packaged. It then gets loaded onto a truck and shipped to one of 62 countries with children suffering from starvation.
“It’s like an assembly line. They bring the food in great big containers, then we start at the end, one puts in the rice, one puts in the soy and so forth, and when it’s all packaged it gets lifted into the truck and taken away when we are done,” Bentz said. “It’s a wonderful organization and really a worthwhile cause.”
Most countries receiving the meals are Third World countries but some meals go to help children in the U.S. and Canada.
Each bag contains 21 vitamins and minerals. When contents of the mixed bags are boiled each will feed six people in need.
The materials alone cost $1.38 per bag, and shipping costs are dramatically reduced because the U.S. Navy ships the food to countries in need.
Kids Against Hunger was started by Richard Proudfit, New Hope, Minn., in 1999.
“He made a decision to dedicate his life and his resources to solving world hunger,” Bentz said.
The focus right now for Kiwanis in Jamestown is to raise slightly more than $10,000 by the end of the month; a lofty goal, but a goal organizers said they feel confident in meeting.
“We’re hoping by the end of the month, it’s pretty ambitious, but were confident we can get it,” said Janna Bergstedt, Kids Against Hunger committee member with Kiwanis. “The community has really stepped up in the past and we’re confident we can do it again.”
Once the funds are raised the next step will be enlisting volunteers to help package the food. The packaging event will be March 2 at the Buffalo Mall.
“It’s amazing to see everyone come to together with common causes of feeding starving children, so I hope we could do it on a yearly basis,” Bergstedt said, “and we’re thankful for the different groups coming together to do this in the past.”
Donations can be dropped off at First Community Credit Union. Those who want to volunteer can call Bergstedt at 253-5109, email jamestownkiwanis@gmail. com or message Kiwanis on Facebook at www.face book.com/jamestownkiwa nis.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455
or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org