Herald JournalHerald Journal, Aug. 22, 2005

Food pack serves up 61,128 meals

By Lynda Jensen

About 200 people from seven local churches converged at the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted high school Wednesday to pack meals for the hungry.

Two shifts of people in teams of five or six worked for four hours, tirelessly packing meal after meal through the afternoon.

“We couldn’t have more people,” commented organizer Karen Erickson.

The turnout flooded people into the commons area of the high school, with volunteers ranging in age from toddlers to senior citizens in their 80s.

Contributions totaled about $5,360, coming from all directions, from change thrown into coffee cans of local businesses to large scale donations of cash and time.

The Winsted Girl Scouts manned a bake sale booth with treats baked by local church auxiliaries.

“I am so thankful to everyone who supported this mission,” Erickson said. She is quick to point out the wide base of support from volunteers as well as those who donated funds toward the project.

Most of the meals will be distributed through the Kids Against Hunger network, some in the US and overseas.

About 2,700 meals were directed toward one of two McLeod County food shelves.

Royalty from Howard Lake, Waverly and Winsted, as well as the Wright County Fairest of the Fair, were in attendance; donning the paper hats and scooping away hunger.

Churches involved included St. Mary’s of Waverly, Holy Trinity, St. John’s of Howard Lake, St. James of Howard Lake, the Fist Presbyterian Church in Howard Lake, the Howard Lake Christian Church, and St. John’s of Winsted.

Others who contributed include Thrivent Financial of both McLeod and Wright counties, the Marysville Merrymakers, Pete’s Grocery, Lisa Wessling, Kevin Erickson of Buffalo Veneer and Plywood, K&K Recycling the Howard Lake Lions, Wright County Fair Board, and Security State Bank of Howard Lake.

Kids Against Hunger is a volunteer-driven effort to package and distribute food for the hungry worldwide.

Most volunteer groups are composed of schools, churches, civic and scouting troops, which work to package food for distribution to areas of the world where people are starving.

Feeding Children International was founded by Richard Proudfit of Stewart. 

Twenty years ago, Proudfit went to Honduras as a volunteer following a hurricane that hit the country.  Profoundly affected by the starvation he saw among the children of that country, Proudfit made a conscious decision to commit his life and financial resources towards the enormous problem of world hunger.

Armed with extensive knowledge in manufacturing and distribution, Proudfit tapped his colleagues in the corporate world for help.

He enlisted the resources of leading food scientists at Cargill, Pillsbury, General Mills, and Archer Daniels Midland to find a viable solution to feed the world’s starving children.

After several failed attempts, Proudfit developed a highly nutritious rice, protein-rich and vitamin-fortified meal, that when boiled with water, provides nourishment for starving children. 

As a result, he has been feeding children for more than 20 years.  He estimates around 20 million servings of his food has been shipped to 32 different countries.

To date, nearly 40,000 Kids Against Hunger volunteers have successfully packed more than million servings of food for worldwide distribution.

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