Hundreds worked hand-in-hand Sunday in Grand Island to combat hunger, at Heartland United Way's "Mission Outreach Macaroni Project."
The event came in the same month Hope Harbor, a homeless shelter in Grand Island, saw a historic increase in their housing demands.
Volunteers at the Macaroni Project on Sunday said their efforts may give struggling families one less worry.
Zac Drapal, an eight-year-old volunteer, was among 400 others at Fonner Park Sunday, stuffing, sealing, and stamping bags of macaroni for struggling families.
"If you help people you're being a really good person," the first time volunteer said. His helping hands were only a part of the many needed to fill 100,000 bags of protein enriched macaroni to help feed struggling families.
Karen Rathke, president of United Way, said "50 percent of children in Hall County are on free or reduced lunch, so their next meal is not a guarantee of where it comes from or what it might be."
Hope Harbor, one of the Partner Agencies with United Way, has reached a record high of 31 children.
Rathke said "It's a warning sign for us, there are some tough times out there." She added "When the temperature really drops we're pretty concerned with that growing need of
families affording the utilities or their housing to provide warm and safe shelter for their
In the four hours of volunteer work, the 400 volunteers of all ages bagged 100,000 bags of macaroni. Each bag only costs 25 cents to make and could feed a family of four.
United Way will donate the boxes to local churches, food pantries, and schools.