The Great Plains Food Bank, a program of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, reports that in 2013, more than 13,350 children a month relied on food support from one of 282 Great Plains Food Bank partner agencies in North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota.
As the Great Plains Food Bank continues its food distribution program, Back Pack program and mobile food pantries that help feed hungry kids, that momentum will be carried forward by partnering with the Kiwanis Club of Jamestown and the Kids Against Hunger project to distribute family-size packages of food.
“It’s a very special and productive partnership when a non-profit organization, a local civic organization and a private individual donor work together to address such a critical issue for kids and families,” said Marcia Paulson, director of marketing and development at the Great Plains Food Bank.
The Kiwanis Club of Jamestown hosted three previous events, packaging approximately 500,000 meals. Each family pack includes enough food for six servings, enough to feed a family in one meal setting.
In preparation for this year's Kids Against Hunger project, the club will hold a pack-a-thon April 5 at the Buffalo Mall in Jamestown. More than 300 volunteers are expected to help that day, with packing activities starting at 9a.m.
“We are very excited to hold another packaging event,” said Don Bentz, co-chair for the Kids Against Hunger project. “The community support and results have been wonderful in the past and we’re looking forward to helping even more families this time around.”
In April and early May, the Great Plains Food Bank will start distributing a designated share of the Kids Against Hunger food packets through its partner agencies. A second, larger shipment, of the food packets will be distributed internationally through the Kiwanis Club network.
According to Kids Against Hunger coordinators, a project of this size calls for a substantial amount of funding to purchase supplies for the meal packages. Financial gifts to this project will be even more valuable this year because a local anonymous donor pledged to donate $1 for every $2 raised, up to $25,000.
“We are grateful to be working with the Great Plains Food Bank and very pleased to have an anonymous match pledge,” said Janna Bergstedt, Kiwanis club president and project coordinator. “But that means we need community donations before March 15 in order to take full advantage of the match offer.”
Financial donations for this project are being accepted at any of the 14 First Community Credit Union North Dakota locations (see www.myfccu.com for locations), with checks payable to the Kiwanis Club of Jamestown. Donations in Jamestown should be mailed to PO Box 2180, Attn: Janna Bergstedt, Jamestown, ND 58402-2180. For additional information about the Jamestown’s Kids Against Hunger event or to volunteer on April 5, contact Tim Perkins at 701-251-2237 or email JamestownKiwanis@gmail.com.