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Kids Against Hunger group packs record 135,000 meals

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Mavis Fodness

When Rock Area Kids Against Hunger kicked off its food-packing event in Luverne Thursday, Nov. 5, organizers wanted to surpass the totals from last year’s inaugural event.
The group did just that and then some by Friday afternoon.
Last year the event raised nearly $16,000 and resulted in the packing of 104,000 meals.
With $25,000 already collected when the event kicked off and with more donations expected to come in, the group already met their monetary goal.
They also set a goal of packing 130,000 meals during the two-day, 15 1/2–hour event.
Area student and adult volunteers packed 134,448 meals, the most ever packed by a group in the Kids Against Hunger Sioux Falls Division.
“It beat the previous goal by 25,000,” said KAH Executive Director Jeff Behrend.
This year Luverne students worked with youth from Edgerton Christian Elementary, Hills-Beaver Creek, Luverne and Southwest Christian.
They joined local businesses and other organizations supplying adult volunteers to work in shifts to package four different ingredients into vacuum-sealed plastic bags.
The bags’ contents of white rice, soy protein, vitamins/flavoring and a dried vegetable blend when added to six cups of water yields six servings.
Cost of each of the packaged meals is $1.50.
Meals packaged in Luverne will be delivered to Haiti, where they will provide 1,600 daily meals to children and the elderly, Behrend said.
“We hope to make the delivery by the first week in December,” he said.
Behrend was on hand during Luverne’s food-packing event showing adult volunteers the proper measurements and procedures for each plastic meal bag and how 36 bags fit in the cardboard shipping box.
Event organizers gathered for a short fellowship message prior to the packing event Thursday.
“We are not only impacting children around the world, we are impacting kids right here,” said United Methodist Church Pastor Dorie Hall, who led the fellowship.
Organizers then split into groups to man the 12 tables set up for the student and community volunteers. Up to 10 volunteers could work at each table.
Hall pointed to last year’s information display that explained most of the world’s children eat only rice and don’t receive a full meal each day.
She said the local children who viewed the display were shocked and then amazed that they could make a difference by assembling the food that has enough nutrition as a full meal.
“There was so much excitement around the display,” she said.
The student excitement carried over to this year, as students throughout Rock County came together for the packing event that also included a youth group from Adrian.

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