‘Packing’ on the pounds

‘Kids Against Hunger’ meal-packing event returns

Helping others brings a smile to one young girl at a past “Kids Against Hunger” meal-packing event. This year’s effort is Feb. 16-24 at the Andersen Window Corp. Oak Park Heights headquarters. (Gazette photo courtesy of Spike Carlsen)

Helping others brings a smile to one young girl at a past “Kids Against Hunger” meal-packing event. This year’s effort is Feb. 16-24 at the Andersen Window Corp. Oak Park Heights headquarters. (Gazette photo courtesy of Spike Carlsen)

How long does it take to package 650,000 meals?

Just 10 days if it’s a group of motivated children and adults at the “Kids Against Hunger” community meal-packing event.

“Teamwork makes it happen,” said event organizer Tom Thiets, Trinity Lutheran Church missions director. “When you get 2,000 people working toward a common goal, miraculous things happen.”

The concept is simple, and the results are impressive. Volunteers sign up for two-hour shifts and package meals quickly and efficiently assembly-line style. People can sign up individually or as groups.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s one person, a family, a hockey team or a whole corporation,” Thiets said. “Everyone pitches in to help put an end to hunger. We’ve had scout troops, businesses, birthday celebrations and groups from nearly 20 churches participate in the past. All are welcome.”

Meals packed this year will be shipped to local food shelves, Haiti and New Jersey to help communities impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Over the last five years,  “Kids Against Hunger” meal-packing events in the St. Croix Valley have generated almost 3 million meals to feed people here and worldwide. Since its inception, the greater “Kids Against Hunger” organization has provided nearly one-billion meals to children and their families in 60 countries.

The event  is Feb. 16-24 at the Andersen Window Corp. Oak Park Height headquarters. Volunteers are asked to donate a minimum of $20 to help defray cost of the ingredients. Organizers are also looking for donations from individuals and organizations to help subsidize the event.

“Volunteers donate $20 per person — but the true cost of the supplies winds up being closer to $50,” Thiets said. “So even if you can’t come out to do some actual packing, you can help through your financial support.”Call
Thiets at 651-788-5112 or email him at tthiets@trinitylc.org for more information. Call Chuck and Joan Newman at 651-436-8609 to sign up to help pack meals.

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