Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bergeron focused on food relief

Dayton Daily News
May 21, 2009

Bergeron focused on food relief
The non-profit charity also deals with adoptions, orphan care, foster care and humanitarian relief.

By Katherine Ullmer
Staff Writer

DAYTON — Larry Bergeron, former pastor of Hope Church in Mason, now works part-time as a hospice chaplain between Dayton and Cincinnati to support his family.

But his passion is his nonprofit charity, A Child’s Hope International, which focuses on adoptions, orphan care, foster care, and humanitarian relief.

Part of that relief is the international campaign called Kids Against Hunger. Richard Proudfit, an entrepreneur in New Hope, Minn., started Kids Against Hunger in March, 1999. Eighteen states now have satellite food packaging sites. Ohio has satellite offices in Dayton and West Chester Twp.

The West Chester Twp. satellite, located in a warehouse of the Berean Christian Stores at Exit 19 along Interstate 75, serves the Cincinnati to Dayton area. It has fed children in Appalachia, Wilmington, Africa (44 tons of food shipped) and Haiti, Bergeron said.

Bob Dixon, 45, an ordained Baptist minister/general contractor, works the regional food packaging division of Kids Against Hunger out of a small area of a 65,000 square-foot building donated by Advanced Machinery, at 2412 N. Gettysburg Ave.

“I’ve always had a need to help people,” Dixon said.

A general contractor, he was ordained at the Second Baptist Church in Piqua in 2004.

He learned about Kids Against Hunger about a year ago from “a fellow going back to Uganda.” Proudfit, the founder of Kids Against Hunger, helped him set up his operation.

They’ve had donations from churches, Walmart, Meijer and private companies to pay for food packet ingredients, he said.

Dixon said they need donations of money and materials to repair leaks in the roof and renovate other parts of the building for more space. They also need volunteers/organizations to help hand package the food.

Twice a month they package food packets with a specially formulated mixture of white rice, fortified crushed soy, dehydrated vegetables and a chicken-flavored 21 mineral/vitamin powder, he said. One package can provide six nutritionally-complete servings at a cost of only 23 cents per serving.

They can bring a mobile packaging unit with supplies to a school or church, Dixon said.

Thus far they have packaged and shipped 100,000 packages to Haiti and 100,000 to Swaziland, Africa, he said.

They hope to fill another 100,000 packages to put in Ohio food pantries so people laid off from work can be sure of well-balanced meals. He’s been talking with Catholic Social Services about that project, he said.

Students from The Mound Street Academy on Washington Street, and Youth Works at the Dayton Job Center helped out recently, and a group of Boy Scouts from Englewood packaged food May 9, he said.

He’s been trying to get his message out about the program by going to a different church each weekend and also has talked to the Red Cross, Dayton’s mayor, and various organizations.

He can be reached by calling (937) 567-4035 or by e-mail at Bob@kids

Story can be found here.

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