Volunteers package meals for Kids Against HungerFour hundred volunteers helped the Jamestown Kiwanis Club pack more than 140,000 meal bags at the annual Kids Against Hunger meal-packing event Saturday at the Buffalo Mall.
By: Chris Olson, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Four hundred volunteers helped the Jamestown Kiwanis Club pack more than 140,000 meal bags at the annual Kids Against Hunger meal-packing event Saturday at the Buffalo Mall.
Event Co-Chair Janna Bergstedt said Kiwanis raised about $30,000 to purchase the white rice, crushed soy, dehydrated mixed-vegetables blend, vitamin and mineral powder mixture that went in each meal bag.
“The bag weighs 13.8 ounces and will feed six people,” she said.
Bergstedt said she was unsure at the start of the week if enough people were going to volunteer for the meal packing.
“As the week went on, though, we had more and more people call up to volunteer,” she said. “I was almost afraid we were going to have too many people on Saturday morning, but that is a good problem to have.”
Most of this year’s meals will stay in the U.S., Bergstedt said.
“I was told by the main office in Aberdeen, S.D., that our meals will go to areas of Montana and South Dakota,” she said.
Tables were set up on both sides of the skylight area of the mall and went about half way down the center of the mall where volunteers worked to assemble the meals.
Casey Aldinger of Jamestown and his 3-year-old son Conner spent the morning filling bins with rice.
“This is our first time helping out with this event,” Aldinger said.
Ed and Carolgene Matthiesen of Jamestown said this was also their first time helping out with the Jamestown meal-packing event.
“Our daughter ran one of these (meal-packing events) back in Minnesota,” Ed said. “That one went three days.”
“These are a lot of fun, everyone is happy and working,” Carolgene said. The couple have two adopted granddaughters from Haiti and they have visited the Caribbean nation.
“We’ve seen firsthand where these meals go and who they help,” she said.
Richard Proudfit founded the Kids Against Hunger project. He was at the meal-packing Saturday.
“This is fantastic, really fantastic,” he said about the volunteer turnout. He said the overall goal for Kids Against Hunger is to serve 200 million meals around the world.
“We couldn’t do it without the volunteers and the companies that work with us to provide the rice, soy and vegetable mixture,” he said.
Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at email@example.com