Over 400 dedicated and engaged volunteers came together for United Way of Southwest Minnesota’s United Against Hunger food packaging event Monday at the National Guard Armory in Marshall. Volunteers worked together to package over 10,000 bags of food, which equated to 60,060 meals.

Over 400 dedicated and engaged volunteers came together for United Way of Southwest Minnesota’s United Against Hunger food packaging event Monday at the National Guard Armory in Marshall. Volunteers worked together to package over 10,000 bags of food, which equated to 60,060 meals.

The meals packaged at the event were distributed free of charge to 21 food shelves/programs throughout southwest Minnesota. Programs receiving food included: Canby Food Shelf, Dawson Food Shelf, Fulda Food Shelf, Marshall Food4Kids, Mary & Martha Food Shelf (Westbrook), Kitchen Table Food Shelves of Marshall & Tracy, Neighbors United Food Shelf (Granite Falls), Tyler Food Shelf, WAFER (Wabasso), Fulda School District, Redwood Area Food Shelf, We Care Project Food Shelf (Morgan), Murray County Food Shelf, Lincoln County Food Shelf, Tracy Area High School, Tracy Back Pack Program, Westbrook Walnut Grove Elementary, Murray County Central, Marshall Area Technical & Educational Center, Hendricks Public School and Marshall Middle School.

Tracy High School sent their entire senior class, and Mrs. Hoppe and Mrs. Schumacher’s third grade classes from West Side Elementary in Marshall volunteered for shifts. Members of the SMSU track & field and football teams participated, and the entire SMSU women’s soccer team lent a hand. Seeing representation from across southwest Minnesota at the event was really awesome to see. I think people sometimes forget that hunger is an issue in our area. Our friends and neighbors are impacted by this, and it feels great to be able to lend a helping hand,” said Amanda Kline, Resource & Marketing Coordinator for United Way of Southwest Minnesota.

Two different meals were packed at the event—apple cinnamon oatmeal and tomato basil pasta. Both options are nutritionally sound and have a shelf life of two years. Culinary experts at Schwan created easy and low cost recipes to compliment the pasta. These recipes will help food recipients learn basic cooking skills and stretch the product even further.

Recipes are also available at www.UnitedWaySWMN.org/UAH. This initiative was sponsored by the United Way of Southwest Minnesota with additional support from the Redwood Area United Way and the Kiwanis Club of Granite Falls.