The gym at First United Methodist Church in Waxahachie was humming with activity as people from around the community came out to pack meals for Kids Against Hunger on Saturday. Kids Against Hunger provides nutritional meals to hungry children around the world.
“We are packing up 363 boxes, which are 100,000 meals. We have got three shifts of folks coming in to pack up food. There are going to be hundreds of folks coming from around the community to come and get involved and help us pack food,” Kids Against Hunger Mobile Satellite Director Tim Jarrell said. “This has definitely been a community effort. There have been lots of folks from lots of areas to contribute and underwrite this. Our destinations are Mexico, Honduras, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Romania are the main places that we ship to.”
All of the ingredients in the food are dry ingredients and have a shelf life of three years. When packed they are placed into a bag are specifically made from moisture-proof and odor-proof material to prevent spoilage and insect or rodent problems. The food bags are also three-ply for strength.
“The food has four ingredients. It has a dehydrated vegetable mix for flavor and color, which has a little bit of nutritional value. The vitamin power is the second ingredient and it has all of the vitamins and minerals that a child needs,” Jarrell said. “Then there is the soy, which is the protein source in it. One serving of this gives a child as much protein as three eight-ounce stakes. It very high in protein because we use ultra fortified soy. The last ingredient is rice. The reason why we do that is because rice is accepted worldwide and when people see the rice they know how to cook it.”
Jarrell said to cook the food all that is needed to be done is to boil it in water for 20 minuets and sometimes cooking oil is added in the cooking process.
Volunteers taking part in Saturday’s packaging event went though a brief training session which showed them how to put the bags together before they began their work. After the training volunteers were distributed through 15 assembly lines in the gym. At one end of the line volunteers measured out dry ingredients and placed them into a food grade that was connected to a bag. The bag were then heat sealed and packed into boxes by volunteers at the other end of the line.
“We have had pretty good response from the community on this. We started about seven or eight months ago talking about this. We have spread the word by visiting different organizations, “Event Co-local Coordinator Harold Hill said. “We have raised $25,000 to package the 100,000 meals. Right now we have got more people participating then we anticipated. So we were setting up tables at 10:30 p.m.”
Hill said he wanted to thank everybody that had contributed to make this a success through by making a donation. Some of the major contributors to this event were First United Methodist Church and the Waxahachie Rotary Club. Hill added that he also wanted to thank his Co-Local Coordinator Dan Smith for his help in the project.
For more information about the kids Against Hunger organization go to its website at www.kidsagainsthunger.org.