Kids Against Hunger Feeds Needy Children

Kids Against Hunger Bay Area (KAH Bay Area) is a Pleasanton-based nonprofit devoted to feeding starving children to help end world hunger. KAH Bay Area works to meet its mission by packaging and shipping fortified soy-rice casserole-style meals specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of starving children; by engaging volunteers as young as eight-years-old to package the ingredients for the meals; and by maintaining worldwide partnerships with humanitarian organizations. 

"We seek to end the literal hunger of deprived children who receive the food and to satisfy a hunger we all feel, a hunger to make a difference," says Executive Director Sherri Leal, who opened the satellite of Kids Against Hunger in 2010. "A lot of people are surprised that we are an all-volunteer nonprofit." 

Despite the pandemic, the group's volunteers were able to pack more than 1.7 million meals last year. Volunteer staff shifts of up to five people at a time in the group's large warehouse made it possible to pack safely during a time when the need to feed hungry children was larger than ever. Volunteers pay a per-person fee to attend "packing parties" where meals are assembled and packed in shipping boxes. Every cent of the $20-per-person donation underwrites the cost of ingredients for 100 meals and shipping costs. The highly nutritious, life-saving meals are then distributed to starving and malnourished children in developing countries and in disaster areas, as well as to hungry children in the United States.

"Our food can taste great to our American taste buds with a little education," notes Leal. "Food banks didn't have the ability in the past to really explain that to people but when the world basically shut down they found the time to educate people. When our food gets distributed in the US now, it comes with a carton of either chicken or vegetable broth and a package of frozen meatballs or vegan meatballs all zipped together as a meal, and people really like it."

Anyone can contribute to the mission as an individual volunteer, as part of a small team, or as part of a large group. "I've done midnight events for youth groups and six am events for companies," says Leal, who has had packing parties with volunteers from huge companies, churches, game groups, sports teams, Scout troops, reading clubs, and more. One memorable packing party acted as a wedding reception. A couple "got married at city hall and then had their guests all come and pack as their wedding gift."

A few years ago, some local schools began to arrange for second- through fifth-grade students to pack five bags, which is 30 meals, to learn about food insecurities, nutrition, and empathy for those less fortunate, according to Leal. While they stopped during the pandemic, schools are now booking these events again. "These events are a true labor of love since we move about four thousand pounds of ingredients to their school gyms and have up to one hundred kids every half hour come in and pack. We are always looking for people who will go through the process to be permitted in school to come join our team as it takes about forty adults to pull off a great school experience."

Potential volunteers are invited to join any packing event listed on the group's website that is not labeled private. Private events are usually team-building events for companies. KAH Bay Area asks groups of 15 or more volunteers to set up a time to pack meals by calling 925-400-7201.

For more information about Kids Against Hunger Bay Area, please visit

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