Living to serve others

Students package 30,000 meals for the hungry

—Daily Freeman-Journal photos by Adri Sietstra Students at Webster City High School package meals for Meals from the Heartland on Tuesday afternoon.

Students at Webster City High School packaged 30,000 meals for the hungry on Tuesday afternoon.

The event, originally scheduled for last Tuesday, was held in conjunction with FFA week.

“Today we packaged 30,000 meals with Meals from the Heartland,” said Kurt Veldhuizen, Webster City High School Ag instructor and FFA advisor. “This is a joint effort between the FFA and the school as far as funding for the event because we did have to provide funding in order to buy the raw materials.”

Meals from the Heartland sends meals out across the region, state and world. They use some locally for food pantries, but according to Veldhuizen, the majority of their meals are sent to foreign and third-world countries where hunger is a pressing issue.

Webster City High School junior and FFA officer Jacob Hirsch was one of the coordinators for the event.

“We were putting meals together today to serve a need,” Hirsch said. “To me, it feels great because the kids that need food will be getting it.”

“This year we tried to do a whole highlight about living to serve – the last sentence of the FFA motto,” said Veldhuizen. “It’s pretty cool to see the FFA officers step up, especially Jacob. With the coordination of it he was kind of the lead person. So to do something here at the high school to make a difference in the whole world was great.”

Three sessions were held throughout the school day, each session had a goal of packaging 10,000 meals. Each group finished their duties well before time was up.

“We had each session scheduled for an hour and every group has been done in about 45 minutes, so they’ve been excellent today,” Veldhuizen said.

Veldhuizen hopes this event shows students that they can impact the lives of others, one person at a time.

“Hopefully the kids really feel like they made a difference. It might be small when you think of the whole world, but anything makes a big difference,” said Veldhuizen. “I think that’s what’s key. The kids are enjoying themselves but they’re also making a difference in the world.”