In Coralville, youths fight Haitian hunger

From left, Rachel Carmen, Kayla Stewart and Jennifer Greiner help pack food Jan. 10 at St. Thomas More Church in Coralville for Haitians through Kids Against Hunger, a food-aid organization. (Contributed photo)

By Celine Klosterman

After Haiti’s devastating earthquake last week, Carolyn Rosenquist and Leah Miller are especially glad to have helped pack food for people in the poor country.

The two youths were among 52 confirmation students at St. Thomas More Parish in Coralville who spent an hour Jan. 10 measuring, filling, weighing and packaging enough soup mixture to feed 4,200 people as part of Kids Against Hunger. The organization provides a blend of vitamin-fortified rice, soy and dried vegetables in an effort to improve children’s lives — up to 40,000 of which are lost daily to starvation and malnutrition worldwide, according to information KAH cites.

KAH especially appealed to Judy Duncan because it provided a service project youths could do as a group. She is interim youth minister and confirmation coordinator at St. Thomas More, and heard about the organization from a member of St. Jude Parish in Cedar Rapids. After later watching Catholics take part in the project in Dubuque, she was sold. “I thought it was so cool,” she said.

In Coralville, each student donated $20 to pay for 4,200 25-cent meals, and chose to send food to Haiti after one youth read about poverty-stricken Haitians making mud cookies to sell. 


“It was really nice to know that the food will be sent over to people who need it,” Carolyn, 16, said. Duncan said the food will be shipped at the end of January.

The project “was really fun because we got to help people while we had a good time with our friends,” Leah, 15, said.

“I’d definitely like to do it again. It really opened my eyes” to problems more significant than those some American teenagers face, Carolyn said.

St. Thomas More youths will be confirmed in February.

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