On April 11, 2014, life was not as usual at Maquoketa Middle School.  It was a day devoted to awareness of hunger around the world.  The day began with homerooms meeting in their districts as one girl and one boy were drawn to compete in the Hunger Games activities during period 6. High school students served as characters from the Hunger Games book, dedicating their time to making literature come alive for middle school students.  Games consisted of jump roping, mental challenges of identifying the similarities between four similar pictures, and bowling with frozen turkeys.  The winning district received Dairy Queen coupons!

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The work began with unloading supplies from the vehicles for representatives of KIDS AGAINST HUNGER from the Quad-Cities.  Ingredients for the meals included soy, dried vegetables, protein, vegan chicken flavoring, and rice.

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The real focus of the day was the REAL world issue of hunger.  All classes watched videos on hunger in America as well as hunger around the world.  In keeping with the theme of overcoming trials in the world, they watched ICE WARRIORS, about the paraolympics competition with a focus on Andy Yohe, paraolympian from Bettendorf, IA.

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Students were challenged to raise $15 each to allow for food packaging.  Mr. Billups’ district raised the most money and earned  a pizza party.

Middle school students packaged over 11,400 meals to be sent to Haiti, Nicaragua, and Honduras with 10% remaining locally.  We don’t know where we would be without our volunteers.  Many thanks to those from the Optimist Club along with Lenke Carson, Dee Flenker, Marlee Lindstrom, Beth Sybesma, and Tracy Waller.

IMG_1794 There was joy as we worked together – students, staff, and volunteers to join in the fight against hunger around the world!IMG_1791






Students got to sample the food that they were packaging!


We ended our day with a presentation by Andy Yohe, a gold medal winning paraolympian, who made a bad decision at a young age to jump trains.  This resulted in his loss of legs, but he made a choice to do something positive with an extremely difficult situation.  He chose to work in the area of prosthetics and also compete in the Paraolympics.  He is a real hero who turned a stumbling block into a stepping stone.


Maquoketa Middle School students were all heroes as they participated in a fight to end world hunger!  Many thanks to Mindy Orris and Lacey Root in their dedication to making this day a special one at MMS!