Meridian kids pack 10,000 meals for Feed the Need

MERIDIAN — Ambrose School kids packed more than 10,000 one-pound soup packages on Friday, enough to feed 60,000 Idahoan. Students and staff from the Meridian school partnered with Homestead Ministries of Colfax, Wash., to give back to the community – Feed the Need.

“This gives our students an insight of what is going on around us,” said Molly Blakeman, a staff member at Ambrose.

The entire K-12 school, nearly 500 students, formed an assembly line to produce soup bags for the Boise Rescue Mission, which will share the food with 12 other agencies in the Treasure Valley.

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“It feels great knowing you’re helping people in need of food,” said Emma Clausen, a sophomore at Ambrose. “As a school, I feel unified.”

Homestead Ministries began Feed the Need in 2014. The organization purchases or receives donations of locally grown grains, such as beans, peas, lentils, wheat and barley, from farmers and processors, along with spices, bags and labels. Those items were delivered to The Ambrose School this week and students like Eric Kondratyuk mixed the soup bags together.

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“Our goal is to help people,” Kondratyuk said. “All of us students are trying to help in any small way possible.”

The Boise Rescue Mission will use the soup mixes for families and daily meals at their shelters.

“Learning about hunger in our own community is a valuable lesson that the children will carry with them,” said Bill Roscoe, the president and CEO of Boise Rescue Mission.

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First Lady Lori Otter, Meridian Mayor Tammy DeWeerd and Meridian and Boise law enforcement joined in with the kids to help package the meals. More than 50 volunteers helped out throughout the day.