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Local kids help feed hungry in Haiti

Lydia Christensen smiles as she prepares to add rice to a meal bag for Kids Against Hunger this week at Park Rapids Century School.1 / 2
Rylee Johnson and Connor Smythe scoop up dried food into bins as they prepare meals for hungry in Haiti. Nearly 50,000 meals were packaged in two days.2 / 2

Nearly 50,000 meals will be sent to Haiti thanks to Park Rapids Century School students.

Fifth through eighth grade students took turns packing meals with Kids Against Hunger Wednesday and Thursday.

Classes took turns packing food for about 45 minutes each.

"We're shipping the food to the Twin Cities then it will go to Florida and eventually Port-au-Prince," said Mark Waller, director of the Park Rapids chapter of Kids Against Hunger.

The organization has been packaging food to fight starvation and malnutrition around the world since 2003.

"People in Haiti are in need of nutrition right now," Waller said. "They're really dependent on the organizations to get the food."

The food packages include rice, soy meal, vitamins/minerals and dried vegetables.

"It's designed to serve malnutritioned people," Waller said.

The food was purchased with money donated by the middle school students, along with other area organizations.

Mary Jo Lohmiller, who helped organize the project, was impressed with how much the students stepped up.

"They donated almost $1,000 themselves," she said.

Students formed lines to work out an efficient process for bagging the meals.

"One, two, three, rice," was the mantra.

The students had a fun time packing food and knowing they were helping people in need.

Waller was impressed with the students.

"They really had a good time and stepped up," he said.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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