June 09, 2017
The following story and video are from KSTP-TV
One in six children in Minnesota lives at risk of hunger.
Roughly 307,000 Minnesota kids receive free or reduced-price lunches at school, but that's just during the school year.
With summer vacation starting, about 250,000 children won't have access to meal programs.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS will be live all day at the Mall of America, as we team up with local leaders in hunger relief this summer.
You can provide lunch for a child throughout the summer for just $25.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS is collaborating with four local nonprofits for Summer Harvest for Kids: Urban Ventures, The Food Group, YouthLink and Matter.
Matter's mission is to increase access to healthy food.
At Mall of America on Thursday, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS got a look at how one volunteer is making a big difference for Minnesota kids this summer.
For Matter volunteer Laura Welby, giving back is personal: "Growing up in the city, I know how important it is for kids to have healthy meals," Welby said.
Welby said she knows healthy meals give a different, powerful kind of energy: "They can use that for energy during the day," Welby explained.
Laura and her team are organizing Go Fuel packs and putting them into MatterBoxes.
Joe Newhouse, vice president of strategy and innovation for Matter, said, "They're all single-serve, ready-to-eat meals that are really healthy."
Matter will get that food to Minnesota children in need, especially those involved in sports who don't have access to enough healthy meals and snacks.
Whether Laura Welby was at the phone bank answering calls during Summer Harvest for Kids or getting healthy meals wrapped up for children, Matter staff said they refer to Welby as a "super volunteer" because she's so helpful.
"Laura has been amazing," Newhouse said. "She comes in three days a week to volunteer. She just is always willing to help out, is always coming to events."
Welby said she wants to make a difference with Summer Harvest for Kids because she's been very fortunate in life and wants to give back.
You can find more information on how to donate here, and be sure to watch 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS throughout the day for updates on the Summer Harvest for Kids campaign.