At what has become a fall tradition in Sleepy Eye, a big crew of volunteers packed nutritional meals for children in need around the world.

At what has become a fall tradition in Sleepy Eye, a big crew of volunteers packed nutritional meals for children in need around the world, when the 16th Annual Sleepy Eye Area Food for Kidz packing event was held on Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Event Center.

With enough volunteers — youth, families, and adults from the area — local Food for Kidz organizer, Rick Mages, said everything went smoothly Sunday. “I think we are going to finish with more meals packed than last year,” Mages said, about an hour before quitting time Sunday afternoon.

It turned out Mages was right. A few hours later, his sister and committee member, Deb (Mages) Fischer, reported that 75,000 rice meals were packaged (last year the total was 67,000 meals) thanks to the work of 150 volunteers over two work shifts.

Sleepy Eye’s Food for Kidz packaging event has long been affiliated with Food for Kidz/Feeding Children of Stewart (MN). Their stated mission is to bring awareness to hunger problems around the world, by involving communities in the participation of packing nutritional meals that will be distributed to children in need. They also say it is important to help expand children’s experiences, beyond what’s happening locally, to give them a more global perspective.

Financial support is also important to the success of this project. “Approximately $3,000 has been collected at this time,” Fischer said. “Please keep those wonderful donations coming.”

Donations may be dropped in local area church collection baskets, labeled, Food for Kidz-Sleepy Eye, or mailed to Rick Mages 508 Prescott St. NW, Sleepy Eye MN 56085.