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South Dakotans Keep Relief Flowing To Haiti

February 14, 2010, 5:25 PM by Cherlene Richards

South Dakotans Keep Relief Flowing To Haiti
SIOUX FALLS,SD - It's been more than a month since a 7.0 earthquake ripped through Haiti's capital city, Port-au-Prince.  Hundreds of thousands of people were killed, and at least a million were left homeless.  While the news headlines surrounding the disaster have calmed, the interest and willingness to help hasn't.  People in Sioux Falls are pledging to help the country for years to come.

More than a month after the worst natural disaster hit Haiti, people are still working to get food and medical supplies handed out to Haitians in need. Because buildings and other infrastructure were destroyed in Port-au-Prince, tent cities now house more than 500-thousand. People in KELOLAND say, they know people still need their help and they'll keep doing what they can to help the country.

"There's still a definite need, and it's gonna go on for years,” Darrel Johnson said

Darrel Johnson with Kids Against Hunger Sioux Falls says the organization began sending meals to Haiti in August 2009, and in the last month they've sent 180-thousand meals to the devastated country.

"It's all packaged in a bag that's easy to fix, they add 6 cups of water, boil it up until the rice is done, it's a complete nutritious meal,” Johnson said.

And each meal costs only 23 cents per meal to pack and ship.

'”The people have been lining up behind us to come in packages and bringing forth donations, funding this program, it's really been exciting for us,” Johnson said.

Brooke 4:45:51 " it just really hits you hard, and it hits home, and that's why I like coming here, because, I know it goes somewhere and it gets immediately to them,” Brooke DeJong said.

This weekend, more than 80 KELOLAND teens and young adults came together as part of Augustana College's Faith Fest. By putting their hands to work, they're able to help children thousands of miles away.

"Everyone can do anything just like a few hours here, can do something, if all you can do it donate money, find a cause, that you love and just support it,” DeYong said.

Dedicating just a few hours here, will result in 15 to 20-thousand meals, made in KELOLAND... for people in Haiti.

Johnson says if momentum keeps up, they may be able to pack a million meals this year. The organization is holding packaging events 5 times a week and so far, they're booked through February.

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