The fourth annual Warrior Day of Service Wednesday gave Brainerd students the opportunity to give back to their community.

The event, for all Brainerd Public Schools students in grades 6-12, saw Brainerd High School and Forestview Middle School students support a wide variety of causes in the community. Forestview students remained at the school to work on projects with adult volunteers while BHS students were bused to various community sites. Those sites included Timber Bay, Northland Arboretum, Salvation Army Thrift Store, Brainerd Public Library, Brainerd Family YMCA, Salvation Army food shelf, Confidence Learning Center, Habitat for Humanity Restore and Brainerd Parks and Recreation.

New to this year’s event was “Kids Against Hunger,” a national food-aid organization which “packages highly nutritious, life-saving meals for starving children and malnourished children and their families in developing countries and the United States,” according to the organization’s website.

John Poston, CEO/founder of Kids Against Hunger Brainerd Lakes Area, predicted students would be able to package 40,000-45,000 meals Wednesday, which were picked up by area food shelves the same day.

Members of Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge were on hand at Forestview to help with loading the boxes of meals onto pallets and into trucks. Wednesday was the first time Kids Against Hunger had done a packing event at the school, Poston said.

The meals, pasta with Italian tomato basil sauce, were packed 36 to a box. Five packing tables were set up in the gymnasium, with 10-12 students and volunteers working in a mostly efficient assembly line to pack the meals. Students, decked out in hairnets and gloves, laughed and joked as they rushed to fill bags as fast as they could, sometimes spilling some noodles in the process.

In a different section of the gym, students worked diligently making tied fleece blankets for the Brainerd Police and Fire departments, New Pathways, Lutheran Social Services, The Shop and the Mid-Minnesota Women’s Center.

The day wrapped up with a community dinner served by the Brainerd Lions Club at Washington Educational Services Building for all the volunteers. There was also a rally with live drama and music, video and special guest speaker/hip-hop artist Agape.

The Warrior Day of Service is organized by Brainerd Area Youth Ministries in co-operation with the school district.

SPENSER BICKETT may be reached at 218-855-5859 or spenser.bickett@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/spenserbickett.

This story has been updated to reflect the correct locations BHS students volunteered at, as well as the fact the Brainerd Lions Club served the community dinner.

The Dispatch regrets the error.

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