The Coeur d’Alene Press – Local News, North Idaho Christian School sends food, love to Haiti

HAYDEN — Scoop. Pour. Fill. Seal. Toss. Pack. Ship.

Now repeat thousands of times.

“They’re packing a lot of meals,” said North Idaho Christian School communications director Jennifer Scott.

Students at North Idaho Christian in Hayden spent Thursday preparing more than 10,000 meals of rice, soy protein, dehydrated vegetables and vitamins to send to orphanages and schools in Haiti to help fill the bellies of kids just like themselves who live in extreme poverty.

All 140 students from kindergarten through 12th grade participated, working alongside other gloved and hairnetted kids from different grade levels to achieve a common goal. Many of them worked the assembly lines while others colored happy faces, rainbows and other uplifting images on the boxes that will be sent more than 3,000 miles away.

“It’s pretty fun,” said second-grader Jake Butcher. “It makes me feel happy when we give food to people who don’t have food. I like that they do this. If people don’t get food, they can die, and I don’t like when people die. It’s sad.”

He said he is all for taking care of other kids, especially those whose lives have been devastated by natural disasters. Located in the warm waters of the Caribbean, Haiti has a long history of being ravaged by floods, tropical storms, hurricanes and earthquakes.

“They have lots of twisters and hurricanes probably,” Jake said. “I do have another question: Why aren’t we sending to the Dominican Republic? They share an island. Dominican Republic is bigger though.”

Sophomore Kymera Hunt held bags steady as her peers funneled in the life-saving nutrients.

“Haven’t had any spills yet,” she said with a smile.

As someone who volunteers at a local animal shelter, Kymera said she thinks it’s pretty cool her school gets to spend the day making a difference in other people’s lives.

“We’re helping out kids in need,” she said. “If no one were to help anyone, our world would be in chaos. We need to rely on each other and help one another and just be kind.”

North Idaho Christian School’s big meal-packing day was a part of its $100,000 fundraiser to improve the school, which was built more than 30 years ago and is in need of repairs. Through Feed the Need, a global organization, the school is helping others while helping itself.

This is the second year the school has raised funds with Feed the Need. Like a jog-a-thon, the students ask for sponsorships and donations for their work, and whatever funds aren’t used to cover the meal-packing expenses can go toward their cause. Scott said generous community sponsors and local businesses have joined the effort to help the students reach their goals. 

Previously, the school held annual auctions to raise needed funds, but they wanted something more inclusive and representative of the school.

“When we heard of Feed the Need, we thought this was perfect,” Scott said. “It goes along with our mission of serving others, so it was a way for us to fundraise but still get all of our school involved with serving other people.”

She said it’s also a great project to show a different side of the kids.

“It shows their true heart of wanting to serve others,” Scott said. “The kids take a few hours during the day and think of other people.”

Info about Feed the Need:

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