On Saturday, Dec. 8, Dexter High School students Rishabh Kothari and Joe Wagner worked with Kids Against Hunger (KAH) in organizing an event that packaged over 13,000 meals to be distributed globally, nationally, and locally.

Throughout the world, a child dies from hunger-related diseases every six seconds which equates to 16,500 deaths daily.   Closer to home in southeast Michigan, one in five children does not know where his or her next meal will come from. KAH targets hunger near and far.

Kids Against Hunger is a non-profit humanitarian organization with a mission to provide fully nutritious food to impoverished children and families around the world and locally. The organization’s goal is to provide enough stable nutrition that will enable recipients to move into self-sufficiency.

Before Rishabh and Joe could package any meals, the two had to raise the money to purchase the supplies.  Rishabh says, “We aimed for the minimum of 10,000 meals, costing $2,800.”  To reach their monetary goal, they requested funds from the Dexter High School Student Council, the Mill Creek Middle School CS & L, and organized a very successful bottle drive in September.

As Rishabh proudly recognizes, “The bottle drive money, combined with that offered from Mill Creek CS&L and the DHS Student Council, was enough to pay for 13,000 meals. We exceeded our goal by about 300 meals.” The effort resulted in the largest KAH event ever organized by Dexter High School students.

Rishabh and Joe solicited volunteers from the Dexter community to help package the meals, and the response was overwhelming.  Joe says, “Originally, we had a goal of getting 100 volunteers to show up – a number that we figured would suffice.  We ended up getting a lot more support that we anticipated and had people requesting to be added to our sign up after the spots where already filled.  In the end, we had 135 people at the event.”

With the enthusiastic support from volunteers of all ages, over 13,000 meals were package so quickly as to make a lasting impression on KAH representative, Todd Clevenger.  “There were so many kids helping out, and they all jumped right in to do whatever they could.  It was very well organized, and we packaged the meals in record time.  I was extremely impressed with so many of the children.  Their hearts were in this, and they did make a huge difference to feed the hungry.   If these are our future leaders, I feel very comfortable.”

Since each meal can feed 2 children, Joe and Rishabh, along with the generous help of the many volunteers, packaged enough meals to feed up to 26,000 children.

Well done everyone!

For more information on how to organize your own meal packaging event with Kids Against Hunger, please visit their website at www. kidsagainsthunger.org or contact Todd Clevenger at toddc@kcah.info.

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