Sault Ste. Marie, MI — Lake Superior State University seeks volunteers for its annual Kids Against Hunger meal-packaging drive that will occur on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, from 7 AM to 4 PM in the Superior Room in the Walker Cisler Student and Conference Center on the LSSU campus.
The goal is to ready 25,000 meals that will be distributed free to students in Chippewa County and throughout the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District. The Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.-based Salvation Army also will receive shelf-stable meals to allocate.
“This is a great opportunity for LSSU and the community to come together for a good cause, all the more so when the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is making daily life even more challenging,” said Lisa M. Repa, event organizer and program coordinator of KCP (Martin Luther King Jr./César Chávez/Rosa Parks) College Day/GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) within the Department of Campus Life & Laker Success at LSSU. “The LSSU Student Government is helping to package them along with members of our local U.S. Coast Guard, plus neighborhood organizations. Thanks to generous donors, we have all the supplies we need. We can use all the hands we can get.”
Almost 21 percent of children (1,460 by number) confront food insecurity—unreliable access to affordable, nutritious food—in Chippewa County, according to Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the U.S., from the most recent available data (2018). The percentage of people below the poverty level in Chippewa County is more than 17 percent, and for those younger than 18 years old, it tops 22 percent, per 2018-19 data from University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions.
LSSU began its Kids Against Hunger initiative in 2009 and has prepared hundreds of thousands of meals for those in need. “One of LSSU’s core values is stewardship—providing a framework to leave the region sound for future generations—and Kids Against Hunger plays an important role in doing that,” said LSSU President Dr. Rodney S. Hanley. “Our strategic plan includes community partnerships as one of the pillars, and giving back to the community like this, especially during the worldwide pandemic, is our duty.”