Through Food for Kidz, a number of Waunakee residents have forged special relationships with children at an orphanage in Haiti.
Mick and Jeamie Holm, organizers of the Waunakee event, described how the effort to package meals to send to food insecure areas grew.
The 14th annual Waunakee Food for Kidz event is Oct. 20 at the Waunakee High School Field House. This year, over 1,600 people have signed up to package 500,000 meals of rice and beans and oatmeal.
Food for Kidz was started in Minnesota and Mick’s father knew its founder, and so an effort began from here.
The Haiti connection was formed just two years ago when a group headed to the Feed My Lambs ministry there. They spent 10 days at the orphanage that houses about 60 children and provides a school for about 600.
That first year, they cooked meals for the children, built a greenhouse, sewed uniforms and helped out in other ways.
They returned last year, as well, and found the greenhouse is doing well, allowing the orphanage to grow its own food.
All of the Waunakee travelers are able to contribute in their own ways. Nancy Laubmeier, a former educator, plays with the children. A Waunakee High School soccer player, has games with the kids. Another in the group helped construct a computer lab for the school.
Jeamie is in a sewing club and the members sewed pillowcase dresses for young girls. The Waunakee group also put up a basketball hoop.  
Mick described trips to other parts of Haiti where there is no electricity to deliver food. He said you can still see signs of the earthquake.
The founder of Feed My Lambs ministry is from Bermuda and will be at the Waunakee Food for Kidz event. A shipping container will leave Waunakee with the food on Monday.
The group will return to Haiti Jan. 19 and stay until Jan. 27. They’ll send 200,000 meals there. Other meals will go to the Community Action Coalition and other parts of the world.
The cost for the food being packaged is $75,000, and while some might say that would be better spent if it were directly sent to Haiti, Mick said part of the focus is on teaching young people to volunteer.
Jeamie said this year one of the students in the Pay It Forward Club are playing more of a supervisory role at the Food for Kidz event. One student said she’s been volunteering at Food For Kidz since she was 6 and it’s become a part of her life.
Also, Mick said, getting donations for Haiti without the event would be more difficult.
Other News:
Oct. 24 is World Polio Day, and special raffles will be held at the Rotary meeting. In addition, all of the Great Dane breweries in Madison will donate a portion of beer sales to the Rotary Foundation to help with the polio eradication effort.
Corporate Associates: Jean Elvekrog, Jim Elvekrog; Jeamie Holm, Mick Holm; Matt Howard, Karli Pagilughi.
Visiting Rotarians: None.
Birthdays: Oct. 29, Lori Derauf; Oct. 29; Breck Dokken.
Anniversaries: Oct. 29, Corey and Danielle Randl.

Programs: Oct. 24, Rick Raemisch, America’s Prisons; Oct. 31, Tiffany Schulz, BBB 101; Nov. 7, Janet Gilmore, History of Wisconsin Fish Fry.
Greeters: Oct. 24, Gary Epping and Bill Erickson; Oct. 31, Daniel Evans and Jim Fitzpatrick; Nov. 7, Brian Franzen and Greg Garton.