MINOCQUA - Hunger can make people desperate. One out of every eight people in the world don't get enough food or nutrition.
That's why hundreds of people gathered at Lakeland Union High School Saturday to pack meals with rice, minerals and other nutritious items.
Some like John Neisen, who works with the Food for Kidz organization based in Stewert,Minn, have seen the struggle of malnutrition first hand.
"I have seen little kids (overseas) digging in garbage piles," Neisen said. "If there is one thing that this (event) can prevent is having those kids eat off of garbage piles."
Food for Kidz formed nearly a decade ago to help get meals to malnourished children around the world. Workers pack meals with rice, minerals and other nutritious items. The bags hold 6 meals.
John Breiten and a friend organized the first Food for Kidz event in Minocqua six years ago.
"What we find is that the kids overseas are just so malnourished, that this special diet was developed for this particular packing," Breiten said.
Barbara Logan has volunteered for every Food for Kidz drive in Minocqua. She enjoys the event because it pulls the community closer together.
"I like the fact that it involves people from about three-years-old to old people who are great-grandparents and so forth," Logan said. "They are all working around the table and all working for the common goal."
Volunteers hoped to bag more than 150 thousand meals. Each meal costs about 15 cents. People in the area helped raise $22,500 to pay for the food.
Neisen says the food goes to children in Honduras and Haiti.
RHINELANDER - A snow storm caught Hanson's Garden Village in Rhinelander off guard last weekend and collapsed a greenhouse. Now that spring weather is here, Hanson's is ready to move forward by making some adjustments. "We got by for 25 years doing what we were doing," said Hanson's Garden Village Co-owner Brent Hanson. Last weekend's spring snow storm set back Hanson's. "We thought we were ahead of schedule having that greenhouse nice and filled," said Hanson's Manager Beth Hanson.
"One bad storm and there you go. Things happen," said Brent. The storm collapsed a greenhouse holding thousands of plants. "For years we've gotten by with these lighter cheaper green houses," said Brent. "We'll be down a greenhouse for a little bit here," said Beth. Now Hanson's will only use sturdier and solid greenhouses so that collapses don't become a pattern.
RHINELANDER - Oneida County needs more foster care homes. Right now, there are nine licensed foster homes in the area, most of which are full according to the county's social services department.
Foster Care Coordinator Rachel Nelson says that in Oneida County there are 24 children currently living in foster homes. The department participated in a statewide foster care recruitment project last fall, and discovered just how great the need is.
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