Thousands of trail mix bags packaged at annual Smack Hunger event

By  | 

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) --- On Wednesday, more than 325 volunteers spent a couple of hours putting together trail mix packages as part of the annual Smack Hunger event. The trail mix will go to local food pantries and food programs to feed kids and families in Marathon County.

"It's an opportunity to get a bunch of people together to make a huge impact on the hunger issue we have here in Marathon County. And the last couple years we've really focused on the children and their need for healthy snacks. So that's why we're doing trail mix," said Adam Keuler with United Way Emerging Leaders.

This is the fifth annual Smack Hunger event put on by United Way Emerging Leaders of Marathon County. Volunteers said they're happy to spend a few hours making such a big difference.

"We always think that this is a great organization to support, we're always happy to volunteer whenever possible. This is a great opportunity to give back to the community and build some healthy snacks for families in need," said Jennifer Porath, one of the volunteers.

Although it's the fifth year of the event, this is only the second year they've packaged trail mix.

"Last year was our first year we did trail mix, and it was a success and the pantries loved it. Prior to that we were doing macaroni and cheese. That went well but it was seen as a little bit less healthy. A healthier option was suggested and we've taken it and run with it," said Keuler.

The goal this year was 18,000 packages, which is approximately 54,000 servings.

"So there's five ingredients. We hold out a bin and they each put one of their ingredients in, we move it down the line, they seal it, they package it, and get it all ready to go," said Erin Witucki, with United Way Emerging Leaders.

Helping not only kids in the area, but families as well.

"So about half of the packages tonight are going to be distributed through school-based programs directly to kids, and the other half will run through pantries," said Witucki.

Just a little bit of time from the volunteers can make a big difference.

"This is such a short commitment. It's 2 to 3 hours on a weeknight. You can come, you can make a big difference in a very short amount of time," said Witucki.

If you'd like to donate, you can click here.