Kids Against Hunger to hold drive April 7

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

For the third consecutive year, New Prague will be the site of a Kids Against Hunger program. The packaging of food for needy children and families around the world will be held from 2:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 7, at the Knights of Columbus Hall in New Prague.

The event at the KC Hall, 411 Fourth Ave. SW, requires about 400 volunteers of all ages to package the dry meals. The food, designed by scientists, consists of fortified soybeans, rice, vitamins and minerals. The meals have been sent to people around the world - from those in Asia who suffered when a tsunami hit that region to those in the United States where Hurricane Katrina hit. Local food shelves also benefit from the meals distributed by Kids Against Hunger, a non-profit organization.

Volunteers at the Monday, April 7, event can choose to help during three shifts - 2:30 to 4 p.m., 4 to 5:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 7 p.m. Organizers encourage anyone to help, even if it's only for one hour.

In the last two years, 700 volunteers from the surrounding communities have helped package nearly 200,000 meals. Organizers are hoping to reach a goal this year of filling enough bags for 120,000 meals. It's also hoped that $12,000 will be raised, which covers the cost of the ingredients at only 10 cents per meal. Even a small donation of $10 helps buy 100 meals. All of the money raised will be used to buy food.

John Neisen of Stewart has been a major organizer of the drives in New Prague with help from his aunt Gert Meger of Le Center and others. Neisen has organized similar events across the country.

Anyone with questions about volunteering may contact Meger, 952-873-6554. Those wishing to volunteer may show up the day of the event.

Fund donations may be dropped off at the KC Hall Monday, April 7, or can be sent to Kids Against Hunger, 28211 221 Avenue, Belle Plaine MN 56011 by Friday, April 4.

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