UNITED to End Hunger in Lee County project to offer packed meals


LEE COUNTY — An hour and a half of your time could help feed hundreds of your neighbors.

“United Way is kicking off the annual fundraising campaign with a service project designed to impact a need within our community,” said Keri Olson, United Way of Lee County’s Executive Director. “Because food insecurity is a concern for our community, it seemed natural to pair the campaign kickoff event with a hunger relief program.”

The first UNITED To End Hunger event last year was a huge success. So, this year, United Way is planning to pack an additional 10,000 meals in the same 90-minute time frame. The 25,000 meals packaged at the event will be distributed to Lee County food pantries, churches, and other food service programs.

The United Way of Lee County needs volunteers and donors for the UNITED To End Hunger food packaging event, which runs from 3 to 4:30 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 19, at Sauk Valley Community College. Anyone can volunteer to package meals or help with set up or clean up after the event.

“We are looking for companies to send employee groups to participate,” Olson said. “We welcome everyone to participate – individuals, families, friends, students, civic groups, anyone and everyone. The more, the merrier.”

United Way already supports child hunger relief with its summer lunch program, Summer Eats. UNITED To End Hunger is part of the United Way effort to provide food for families in need. A total of 21.5 percent of Lee County children are food insecure, meaning they have limited or uncertain access to safe and nutritious food.

Nutritionally packed, the Macaroni and Cheese meals are protein fortified and have easy to read instructions. The meals will store for a long time so that they can be ready when they're needed most and can be prepared with just boiling water. Each package serves six people. Using volunteers, United Way keeps costs to 25 cents a serving, or $7,500 for the entire truck load. Sponsorship and donations are essential.

Packing food might not sound like fun, but United Way promises a good time while doing something worthwhile. Registration for volunteers and sponsorships is online at unitedwayofleecounty.org/united-to-end-hunger.

For more information, call Olson at 815-284-3339, or by email, [email protected]

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