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Credit union holds food, fund drive for United Way of Hastings

Affinity Plus Credit Union will be collecting food and money donations for United Way of Hastings' Food4Kidz program from now until the end of May. Kelsey Roy / RiverTown Multimedia

Throughout May, Affinity Plus Credit Union will hold a food and fund drive to benefit the United Way of Hastings.

Donations will go to UWH's Food4Kidz, a program that gives weekend meals to children who rely on school lunches during the week for food.

"We were looking for a way to get involved in the community," Nate Altendahl, manager at Affinity, said. "It is an important program and it makes a big impact in the community, so we thought this was a great way to get involved."

A table is set up at the credit union for people to drop off both food and monetary donations. An information sheet is available at Affinity with ideas of what types of foods UWH is looking for.

For the Food4Kidz program, UWH collects easy-open, kid-friendly foods that the child could make on their own if necessary.

At the end of the month, staff at Affinity will take the collected food and spend the day packing bags for the program.

"This is the first time we've gotten in partnership with United Way, and we are excited to see how else we can help in the fall and winter. I hope this becomes a great partnership," Altendahl said.

For UWH, this food drive could bring change for the Food4Kidz program.

Currently, the program supplies weekend meals for about 140 students in the elementary schools, middle school and alternative learning center during the school year. UWH has held events throughout the summer to help get shelves stocked for when the school year starts up again.

This year, however, UWH is hoping to start a small program through Food4Kidz that would run through the summer, according to office and volunteer manager, Amy Schaffer. Plans for the program are not set in stone yet, as staff at UWH works to figure out the finishing details on how a summer program would work. Schaffer is optimistic.

"It's hard that the school year ends. We are very excited that (this food drive) should kick everything off," Schaffer said.

Affinity Plus Credit Union is located at 1731 N. Frontage Road in Hastings. They are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.