Florida club sending 21,000 meal kits to Texas disaster

Steven Hadt | Aug 31, 2017

Florida club sending 21,000 meal kits to Texas disaster

Florida club sending 21,000 meal kits to Texas disaster Paul Davis couldn't just sit and watch the news coverage of the Texas disaster. As a Kiwanian, he had to act. And he knew his club was the place to start.

Every three months, the Manatee Sunrise Kiwanis Club assembles food packages as part of their Kiwanis Against Hunger project. The packages are delivered to area food banks and the kitchen at a homeless shelter in Bradenton, Florida. More than 7,000 of those meals had yet to be earmarked for delivery.

Davis was working on a way to get those packages to Texas when fellow Kiwanian Mark Hildebrandt called to say he could free up more meals for the emergency effort. As the club’s coordinator of the Kiwanis Against Hunger project, Hildebrant will ship 21,000 meals to the Houston area. He and other club members will replenish the inventory during their next packaging event in November. 

"It makes me feel like I am doing something instead of sitting back, watching and praying," Davis said.  

Florida club sending 21,000 meal kits to Texas disaster The club packages the meals as part of its partnership with Kids Against Hunger, an organization working to eradicate world hunger. Kiwanians from Florida District Division 17 pitch in during each food packaging event. 

The food kits contain rice, which helps fill the stomach and has a long shelf life; vitamin-fortified soy, which is the equivalent of three pounds of red meat; black beans to add protein; and Latin spice to add flavor. Each food package feeds up to six people after it is mixed with boiling water. 

"I called everybody—Red Cross, Salvation Army, FEMA, even the Air Force," said Davis. "None of them were able to get the packages into Houston for another week or two. I eventually reached Marshall Kregel in the Kiwanis Texas-Oklahoma District, and they were already getting supplies into Houston. Kiwanis seems to be the only ones with a direct line to the shelters.” 

Kregel is chair of the Kiwanis Texas-Oklahoma District relief efforts. He is coordinating efforts to get supplies to the hardest-hit areas. Working with the Kiwanis Club of Conroe, Texas, which is just outside of Houston, Kregel has set up a distribution point for Kiwanians to drop off and pick up supplies. The 21,000 food kits from Florida will be delivered by John Hill, a member of the Live Oak Kiwanis Club. He’s on his way to Texas with a trailer full of supplies, in addition to the food kits. 

"It's like God directed us right where we needed to go to get help to the people in Houston right away," Davis said. "From beginning to end, this is a Kiwanis project." 


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