Third-grade student Taylor Mermod puts labels on food bags. She is a Kids Against Hunger volunteer who loves helping out whenever she can.
Third-grade student Taylor Mermod puts labels on food bags. She is a Kids Against Hunger volunteer who loves helping out whenever she can.
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. — Community service is at the heart of North Montgomery High School’s FFA chapter.

A large group of students and parents met in the cafeteria to pack meals that will feed those in need. The room smelled like spices as volunteers scooped rice and other ingredients into food bags that will be sent across the country and world.

“The Kids Against Hunger food packet was put together in the 1970s by scientists,” explained Allison Delp, Kids Against Hunger coordinator.

“It was designed not just to fill a hungry belly, but to help reverse the starvation process. There are four ingredients. There’s soy for high protein, flavoring with 21 vitamins and minerals, white rice as a filler and dehydrated vegetables, which add color.”

It’s easy to make the meal — simply add boiling water to the mix and you have a hot, savory casserole-like dish.

In many countries, it is common to eat the same meal every day, Delp said.

Volunteers add recipes to the boxes to add variety. People can add salsa, meats and spices to change the taste.

The meals not only go across seas, but fill food pantries across Indiana, as well.

The Waynetown Christian Church is one of 130 satellite locations in the U.S. and Canada for the Kids Against Hunger program.

The FFA chapter teamed up with Waynetown to pack 50 boxes of food. Each meal costs only 25 cents to make, making one box worth $54.

“Cargill and Beck’s have donated the money to the FFA, so we could do this community service,” said Nancy Bell, the chapter’s adviser. “This is the second year we’ve done it, and the second year we are packaging 50 boxes.

“It is a very nice organization to work with, and we want to do it again next year.”

Combined, the 50 boxes will hold 10,800 meals. Fifty boxes would be enough to feed one person once a day for 30 years.

The mix expires after three years, but it gives you an idea of how far this many meals can go, Delp said.

“The kids are igniting their passion and stepping out to do something good for people in need,” Bell said.

For more information, check out kidsagainsthunger.org.