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Highway 212 schools tapping rivalries to aid Haiti

BUFFALO LAKE -- Rivalries run deep among the schools along U.S. Highway 212 in Renville County.

A group of students is hoping to tap those competitive feelings for a cause: They are challenging the students and organizations in the Buffalo Lake-Hector, BOLD and Renville County West school districts to see who can do the most for earthquake victims in Haiti.

The students want the schools to set up work crews to raise funds and package Kids Against Hunger/Feeding Children International food packets for shipment to Haiti, according to information from the organizers.

Based in New Hope, Kids Against Hunger distributes packages of its easy-to-make meals to people all over the globe.

A mixture of rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and flavorings, the package costs 23 cents and provides a healthy, balanced meal.

Organizers have already printed posters and set up a phone bank for the project. The goal is to see teams from the three schools assemble the Kids Against Hunger packages during an 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. event Feb. 27 in the Palmer Bus Service garage on Highway 212 in Olivia.

But first, they hope to raise $45,000 in order to purchase the ingredients to package as many as 300,000 meals on Feb. 27.

Images of the suffering in Haiti led Buffalo Lake-Hector students Elizabeth Stanton and Jackie Baysinger to propose the project.

They were soon joined by about two dozen other students and adults.

In an e-mail, Stanton said the idea came up as classes at BLH were competing to raise funds to help Michael Jensen with medical expenses. That gave her the idea of seeing if the rival schools to the west would compete to help out the earthquake victims in Haiti.

Persons who want to work at the bagging site can call 320-848-3035 or 848-3013. Phones are open through Friday from 3:30 to 8 p.m., and again Monday through Friday next week at the same times.

People can also donate by making their checks payable to: Feeding Children International, P.O. Box 234, Steward, MN 55385 or online at: www.feeding

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

(320) 214-4335