UPDATE | February 23, 2010: Since the earthquake, Lincoln Kids Against Hunger has sent over 193,00 meals to Haiti and is committed to sending at least 100,00 meals/month to aid in their recovery.
JANUARY 2010: Kids Against Hunger in Lincoln is preparing to send 17 pallets of highly-nutritious dehydrated food packets assembled by local volunteers to Haiti, about 100,000 meals. Since their inception September 17, 2006, this satellite (one of 72 across the US) has provided over 2,000,000 meals with approximately 15% remaining in Lincoln. Says Becky Neil, volunteer Director, “Haiti was the poorest country in the western hemisphere before Tuesday’s earthquake. With an average wage of $2/day, Haitians have been eating mud cookies to fill their stomachs because they couldn’t afford a simple bowl of rice. Fortunately, the media’s earthquake coverage shines the spotlight on this already desperate country.”Kids Against Hunger in Lincoln, along with satellites across the US have a proven track record in Haiti with established channels of distribution - orphanages, hospitals, school and churches. Partnering with another Nebraska agency based in Norfolk, The Orphan Grain Train, Lincoln ships out food along with the Orphan Grain Train’s medical supplies, clothing, blankets – whatever is needed. “This allows us to focus our time and funds on food. We are exceptionally efficient and waste nothing, that’s how we get our costs down to just 19.8 cents per meal! There are currently 1 billion people suffering from severe malnourishment in our world responsible for a death every few seconds – predominately children under the age of 5. After such a large-scale natural disaster, our fear is this rate will increase at an alarming rate.” says Becky.
The great news is it doesn’t take much to make a difference. Turns out a volunteer can package enough meals to feed a child for an entire year in about two hours with ingredients that cost $54. Possible because of a loaned-out warehouse (they pay the $400/month utility bill), purchasing food in bulk, and utilizing volunteers to run the satellite, oversee sessions, educate groups, schedule, give presentations and of course, package the food. The Orphan Grain Train delivers their ingredients as they pick up the finished pallets. “We package food about 8 times each month. This is a great opportunity for families to volunteer together; our minimum age to volunteer is only 5. How often does a 5 year old get to keep other children from starvation using their own hands?” asks Neil.
One person + 2 hours + 19.8 cents/day = feeding a desperately hungry child for one year. The only question now, not if, but when can you get started? Hold a fundraiser (they have ideas on their site), donate, sign-up to package food that will be shipping to Haiti. Remember it only takes $54 and 2 hours of your time to feed a child for a year! Learn more at www.kahlincoln.org.
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