- For children and families they've never met, the volunteers of "Food for Kidz" are heroes; They’re saving lives one package of food at a time.
"One cup of rice, one cup of soy, one tablespoon of dried vegetables and one tablespoon of a mixture of 21 vitamins and minerals" goes into each bag of food says John Breiten, a Co-Chair for the Minocqua area Food For Kidz program.
This simple meal costs just 90 cents to make. But for the 6 people whose bellies it will fill, these packages of food are priceless.
"They go all over the world, primarily in the 3rd world countries where many times a kid will only get one meal a day," said Breiten.
"Food for Kidz" trucks in bulk food for volunteers to assemble into easy to cook, and easy to digest food pouches. For the recipients, like refugees in Somalia, it's more than a meal, it's a symbol of hope.
"People were coming out of the hills, marching for 10 days just to get to the camp, many starving on the way,” said Breiten, “And this national organization we work with actually started sending trucks out with our food to meet them half way, so they could at least survive to get to the camp."
"It feels really good because you know you're helping somebody, and you know they'll be happy at the end of the day where they get a good meal,” said Emily Scott, a volunteer and student of Minocqua J1 grade school, “I think it's going to mean to them that somebody actually cares about them, and that they're loved too, like everybody else."
"This could be done mechanically,” said Breiten of the packaging process, “They could mechanize this thing and do 100 times as many as we do, but the whole purpose was to get the word out to get people involved, especially the young kids, to see what is going on around the world, and how they can make a difference."
The task force of volunteers meet each year at Lakeland Union High School. This year they raised over $17,000 and in 4 hours turned around 25,000 pounds of bulk food into nearly 150,000 meals to send around the world.