By Elizabeth Varville, Correspondent
On Mar 7, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor faculty and staff participated in the Kids Against Hunger Food Packaging Event.
“UMHB had a great turnout for their event. About 70 faculty, staff, and family members participated. They were able to package about 18,000 meals,” said Director of the Kids Against Hunger of Central Texas, Jeff Pedigo.
The mission of Kids Against Hunger, a humanitarian food-aid organization, is to significantly reduce the number of hungry children in the United States and to feed starving children throughout the world. Split into two, three hours shifts, the faculty and staff will be packaging meals to be distributed to starving children and their families in over 60 countries through partnerships with humanitarian organizations worldwide. UMHB sponsors a fundraiser to help raise money to allow the university participants to purchase meals at 23 cents a meal. With a minimum donation of $5, the faculty and staff are permitted to wear blue jeans on a designated Friday in the fall and spring semesters. As a standard, blue jeans are not part of the faculty and staff everyday dress code.
“Any fundraiser is always fun. The main focus of a good fundraiser is to get people involved for a good cause. There could not be a better cause than Kids Against Hunger. It is something near and dear to a person’s heart, especially to a mother’s heart. So mothers will step up and offer support and love for that campaign. That is the main reason why I donated, because of the love aspects for the starving children,” said Certification Coordinator, Department of Education, Cindy Selman.
This is the fifth year UMHB has been involved in this service project.
“Our mission at UMHB is to prepare students for leadership, service, and faith-informed discernment in a global society. The faculty started doing this project as a commitment to modeling service. So that is one of the reason why we started participating in this organization,” said Dr. Christie Bledsoe , Associate Professor in the Doctor of Education Program at UMHB.
The Packaging Events are a fun and unique way the community can come together to help end hunger. The events are held in the organization’s warehouse in Temple, Texas.
Each volunteer will package $40 to $50 worth of food per hour. Basically, in one hour, 12 volunteers can package enough food to feed approximately 2,500 children.
According to kahcentx.org, the meal ingredients are formulated by food scientists to provide a rich source of easily digestible protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins needed by an undernourished child’s body and mind. The food is also acceptable to the broad diversity of ethnic tastes and religious differences around the world.
The food offers all nine of the essential amino acids required for complete nutrition. It is also very simple to prepare, requiring only six cups of boiling water to make a complete meal. The meals consist of high-quality white rice, fortified 52 percent crushed soy protein, blend of six dehydrated vegetables and 21 vitamins & minerals.
Each bag of food contains six servings of the dehydrated food which, when boiled will serve six children and provide all the vitamins and minerals they need for a day. Additionally, the bags are specifically made to be three-ply for strength and they are made of a moisture-proof and odor-proof material to prevent spoilage and insect or rodent problems. The food has a shelf life of at least three years. Meals are packed six to a bag, 36 bags to a box of 216 meals and 33 boxes per pallet of 7,128 meals.
Kids Against Hunger of Central Texas started in 2009 by two local families, Lamar and Judy Eidson and Jerry and Madiene Gibson, in response to a solution to fight the global problem of hunger. Nearly 1,000,000 meals have been donated and packaged by local area volunteers.
UMHB continues to support Kids Against Hunger. On Friday, March 18, during UMHB’s baseball and softball games, UMHB’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee will be collecting change for the Educate Haiti program of Kids Against Hunger.
Donations will provide education for 266 children of Haiti for one month. For time and location of games please visit www.umhb.edu.
For more information on Kids Against Hunger of Central Texas please visit www.kahcentx.org.