By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN Right now, somewhere halfway around the world, a child is alone, afraid, and hungry.
But, with the help of people like those at Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Delano, that child can receive a nutritious meal.
About 70 volunteers packed 22,000 meals Oct. 8, with supplies from non-profit organization Kids Against Hunger.
“The food goes all over the world,” said Light of Christ member Steve Anderson, who is on the board of directors for Kids Against Hunger. “Right now, the organization is hoping to send 4 million meals to East Africa, because of the famine.”
Haiti has also been a strong focus recently, Anderson added.
“What’s unique about this organization is that we work directly with other non-profits,” he said. “We aren’t working with countries’ governments.”
Each meal from Kids Against Hunger includes rice, vitamin-fortified soy, a dehydrated blend of six vegetables, and a chicken-flavored vegetarian vitamin and mineral powder.
“To cook it, you just boil water,” Anderson said.
According to the Kids Against Hunger website, the meals supply the optimum amount of nutrition for a malnourished child.
Kids Against Hunger is able to purchase its ingredients at very competitive prices, and each meal costs about 23 cents.
Light of Christ raised about $5,500, enough to feed thousands of children. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is also providing funds to help pay for the food.
The vast majority of Kids Against Hunger funding comes from individual donors, according to Anderson.
His involvement with the organization began about 10 years ago, when his daughter was in confirmation class. His wife, who was teaching the class, took the students to a Kids Against Hunger food-packing event as a service project.
“She just thought it was really great, and told me about it,” Anderson said.
From there, Light of Christ began hosting Kids Against Hunger events as a church, and Anderson became a board member with the organization in 2005.
“What we want to do is teach others to do this, so we can feed more people,” Anderson said. “The problem is so compelling in the first place. We live in this land of plenty, but there are people in the world who are still dying of starvation.”
Kids Against Hunger is also rewarding for volunteers, according to Anderson.
“It’s really hands-on, and anybody can do it,” he said. “In a very tangible way, you’re helping to save kids.”
At Light of Christ, Anderson said people ages 5 to 75 enjoyed packing meals Oct. 8.
“The problem can seem so insurmountable,” he said. “You aren’t going to feed the world, but you’re going to make a difference in the life of that kid.”
To donate, go to the Kids Against Hunger website, by following the link on the Delano Herald Journal homepage, www.delanoheraldjournal.com.