KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A group of volunteers in Olathe are already starting to prepare for the holidays when kids are out of school.
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Manjari Srivastava and a few other volunteers with MUFFIN, which stands for Mothers United For Families In Need, started to load donated food Monday afternoon.
"It's a community so everyone has to pitch in," she said.
They have only a few weeks to prepare meal kits.
Each kit has around 40 pounds of food, which should be enough to last Olathe students who need it through winter break.
"It's very weird thing to feel," Srivastava said. "Christmas is coming we all are excited. Or winter break is coming, it's going to be fun, it's holidays. But those kids, they're not happy about it. They're worried about it. If winter break is there then where will they get their food?"
Another volunteer, Kim Jackowski, says there was always a need for something like this in Johnson County, but in their initial years convincing people it existed was the first challenge.
"You know when we started this project, like so many people, I did not realize there was anywhere near the need in this area that we've discovered as this project has progressed," she said.
In their first year they made 125 kits sent to kids at six Olathe schools.
Six years later they're hoping to make 600 kits to be sent to 15 schools.
"We thought it would've dropped," Jackowski said. "You know, you would think that after we got past the pandemic and things started settling in, it would've dropped. But it hasn't, it's just increased each year."
For kids on subsidized meal plans the bags of food and the volunteers who make them are what's standing between them and spending winter break hungry.
"That is the biggest motivator for all of us. We don't want that to happen," Srivastava said.
The program still needs more donations of funds and food to reach their goal this year.
More information is available on the organization's website.