Kids Against Hunger-BLA is now The Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes

As of Tuesday, Nov. 19, Kids Against Hunger-Brainerd Lakes Area is now called The Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes.

Founded in 2012, Kids Against Hunger-Brainerd Lakes Area is a humanitarian food aid organization with a packaging facility in Nisswa. When started in 2012, the primary focus was shipping food to international countries for hunger relief efforts. As the charity has grown over the last seven years, the organization started distributing more and more meals within the United States.

Today, 80%-90% of all food packaged in the Nisswa location is shipped within an approximate 100 mile radius of Brainerd. The remaining 10%-20% is shipped to international destinations such as Haiti, Tanzania, Venezuela and most recently to the Bahamas for Hurricane Dorian Disaster Relief.

“We’ve been working with the Outreach Program for several years purchasing our food through their channels,'' said John Poston, founder and CEO. “As we looked at the growth of our organization, we spoke with the great people in Union and Des Moines, Iowa, that run Outreach, and found that they would be a great long term partner for us.”

While the primary focus for The Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes will be to continue to package meals at the Nisswa facility, they will also do remote packaging - going out to destinations and facilitating packing events with businesses and organizations. The Nisswa facility will be the first community associate with the larger organization of The Outreach Program.


The umbrella organization facilitates large packing events throughout the United States. With hopes to grow their community associate program, Nisswa is the first location and will serve as a model for future locations.

Shawn Hansen joined the Nisswa team in April after retiring from the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce. Hansen was hired to assess the organization, increase fundraising and help the charity grow to the next level of food aid capabilities.

“It’s exciting to see our community embrace this charity over the years. And it’s with pride and anticipation that our board of directors, staff and volunteers are excited to roll out our new look and vision in The Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes. We are the same great group of people with the same mission - feeding families. Our name has changed and we look forward to growing. With your help, we can continue to serve the Brainerd lakes area, greater Minnesota and the world," Hansen said in a news release.

For more information about The Outreach Program of Brainerd Lakes, visit their website: Call 218-961-0055 or email

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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