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Middle school meal packing event takes a bite out of hunger

Friday’s effort was dedicated to Kelvin Brown

Students at Fort Dodge Middle School spent part of their day last Friday scooping up rice, beans, vitamins and a few other dry food products to be poured into plastic bags.

Their assembly line work produced 30,000 meals to be sent to hungry people across the United States and the world, In areas afflicted by natural disasters, famine and extreme poverty, the bagged meals put together by local middle schoolers just may prevent starvation.

There have been similiar meal-packing events in Fort Dodge previously. But Friday’s event was special for two reasons. First, it was held at the middle school with students making up the bulk of the workforce. While the kids had help from some adult volunteers, notably from Valero Renewables and the Fort Dodge Fire Department, they did the lion’s share of the work.

Also making Friday’s event special was the fact that it was dedicated to the memory of Kelvin Brown. The son of Dr. Ryan Brown and Hope Brown, he died of cancer at 3-years-old on Sept. 7, 2012. Some of the money to pay for buying the ingredients and other supplies for the meal-packing event came from a memorial fund named for Kelvin Brown. Valero Renewables donated the rest of the needed money. The total cost was $3,000.

”They were excited for this,” middle school Principal Aaron Davidson said. ”It’s an experience that’s about others than themselves. They get to think about others and help those in need.”

By the end of the day Friday, 30,000 meals were boxed up and sent to the Meals From The Heartland facility in Des Moines to await shipment to wherever hungry people need them.

The students who packed those meals appeared to have fun doing so and in the process they helped thousands of people. Someday soon, people in need will have hot, nutritious meals thanks to those students, who made Fort Dodge proud.

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