Nearly 200 people from Menomonie area businesses and organizations teamed up last week with two Rotary Clubs to pack some 41,000 meals that will benefit families throughout the Chippewa Valley and internationally.
The Rotary Club of Menomonie and the Menomonie Sunrise Rotary Club organized last week’s event to bring awareness to Rotary and the Kids Against Hunger organization. Ben Buehler, a Rotary Club member, called the effort “very successful,” in an email to the CVPost.
“We had just under 200 people attend the event from about 15 area businesses and organizations,” Buehler said. “We invited the organizations to create teams of 10 and asked them to sign up for one of five available shifts” at the Stout Ale House. “Participants packed meals for about an hour and then enjoyed a social afterwards.”
Some businesses sent multiple teams of 10, he noted.
About 40% of the meals will be distributed in the Chippewa Valley, Buehler said, with the rest slated for distribution abroad. The simple meals consist of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetable, and 21 essential vitamins and minerals.
Kids Against Hunger is a humanitarian food-aid organization with the mission of reducing the number of hungry children in the United States and feeding starving children throughout the world. The organization aims to provide meals with a stable nutritional base to help families move from starvation to self-sufficiency.
This event was the biggest awareness and membership drive in the history of the two Rotary clubs, according to Buehler. In addition to packing the meals, the goal of the event was to raise community awareness of Rotary’s involvement with Kids Against Hunger and, ultimately, to increase Rotary’s membership to allow efforts like Kids Against Hunger to continue to grow.
“Although the number of new members that will come out of the event is yet to be known, I believe the event will still be considered a success because we were able to get almost 200 people in our community together to give back and make a difference both locally and internationally,” Buehler said.