Lincoln’s Kids Against Hunger helps Haiyan victims
Story and Lincoln photos by C.L. Sill, NewsNetNebraska
Video by Clair Porter, NewsNetNebraska
Typhoon Haiyan left millions without food and shelter last week when it tore through the Philippines.
Thousands of victims were killed by the historically powerful storm which sparked a disaster relief effort that includes a Lincoln charity.
Kids Against Hunger is an international relief organization with a satellite location in Lincoln. It’s goal is to help starving children, but in the wake of the Typhoon Haiyan disaster, the charity has narrowed its focus.
“What we’re doing here, is we’re saving lives,” said Becky Snedeker, the executive director of Lincoln’s Kids Against Hunger program.
Snedeker is recruiting volunteers this week to provide a 62-dollar donation and two hours of work towards the Haiyan disaster relief effort. With that commitment, Snedeker said someone can provide 72 meals to those in need.
When someone volunteers their time and money to Kids Against Hunger, they spend their two hours making “fortified rice-soy casserole.” It is a four-part recipe and Snedeker said it provides essential nutritional value.
“It is more than just something to fill your stomach,” she said.
NewsNetNebraska’s Claire Porter takes us inside the Kids Against Hunger relief effort.
A personal connection
Among the dozen or so volunteers at a packing session on Wednesday night was Lincoln resident Alan More.
“I have family and friends who are caught up in this,” he said.
More just returned from a visit to see his family and friends in Butuan, Philippines in October. He said he’s been talking to them via Facebook since the typhoon hit and while they are all OK, he wants to lend a hand in any way possible.
“I sent them money already,” he said. “(Volunteering) is just another way to help.”
What they make
The casserole is made up of dehydrated vegetables, flavor mix, crushed soy and rice. The flavor mix does more than just cater to your pallet, as it contains 21 vitamins and minerals. The crushed soy also provides a healthy dose of protein.
“This has been researched. It’s not just ‘hey lets make a granola bar,’” said Dee Tonack, a supervisor at Kids Against Hunger.
All of these ingredients are stowed in an airtight bag with a shelf life of three years. Each bag has enough casserole to make six meals. With the cost of one bag totaling 1 dollar and 30 cents, the cost per meal comes out to just under a quarter apiece.
“That doesn’t even buy you a cup of coffee on senior citizen day at McDonalds,” Tonack said.
Snedeker said while relief efforts for Haiyan victims has just begun, she would like to have a large shipment ready to go by this Sunday.
“We just got started,” she said. “We have approximately 15,000 meals sitting in the warehouse.”
Those 15,000 meals amount to two full pallets and Snedeker said she would like to have 10 complete pallets by Sunday. But if more people show up, their goal could increase.
“The more people we have the better,” she said.
If someone can’t pack but still wants to help, Snedeker said they can donate money to sponsor a packing session for another volunteer.
Sessions for the remainder of this week will be held on Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. as well as on Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Kids Against Hunger – Lincoln
2324 Kimarra Place, Lincoln, NE 68521
Contact: Dee Dee Neil
Phone: (402) 770-4532