by Penni Cannova
Many of you know and respect the work of Feed My Starving Children. Well, now our parish family has embraced the humanitarian non-profit Kids Against Hunger (KAH) which is dedicated to the same goal of packing fully nutritious food to distribute to suffering children and families around the world from right here at Stratford Square Mall.
The Harvester spoke with Ann Kennedy, a 30-year parishioner, who coordinates all volunteers for Kids Against Hunger. As their main contact and our parishioner, Ann described vividly the benefits of packaging food locally to help those in dire need far away. Founded by Richard Proudfit, Feed My Starving Children focuses on centralized packing sites. Mr. Proudfit then wished to extend the reach out to people who wish to join in this work and founded Kids Against Hunger. By choosing a decentralized, locally-based network of satellite sites, Kids Against Hunger means to engage more people in their own communities to make a difference for those suffering from starvation.
In 2007, Darrel and Karen Malcom founded KAH of Fox Valley, the origin of our local chapter. After operating out of a warehouse in Roselle donated by BMO Harris Bank, the organization moved to 110 Stratford Square Mall last January. They began to get the word out to the public for more volunteers last summer.
Volunteer Karen Wonak, member of the Focus on Hunger Ministry, was glad to become involved with Kids Against Hunger. She had volunteered with Feed My Starving Children at her former parish in Elk Grove Village and became aware of Kids Against Hunger upon joining St. Isidore. A group of 15 volunteers from our parish sign up, meet at Stratford Square and pack individual meals, like the packing effort at Feed My Starving Children – but right here in Bloomingdale. The group packs a rice-soy casserole in individual meals. Two groups can work at a time, and she estimates that the group will spend about an hour and 15 minutes packing for their shift.
By making relationships with faith-based groups and clubs such as Kiwanis and Rotary, Kids Against Hunger engages more people to make a difference in combating world hunger. This model also provides for future expansion in both packing capacity and engagement of more volunteers. And, by building the relationship with St. Isidore, now more of our parishioners can volunteer to tangibly help children and families worldwide right in their own backyard.
Please call Ann Kennedy at (630) 373-4759 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, to volunteer or for more information.