"This is fantastic and it's good experience," said Aaron Hutchison. "It feels good to save lives."
Poverty and hunger are real and Palo Alto County residents made a difference last Saturday at a Packing Event for "Then Feed Just One." Volunteers gathered at the Palo Alto County Fairgrounds to pack meals to help fight world hunger.
Volunteers from the second hour and a half shift are pictured at left.
"We will be doing this again next year," said Lois Stanley, one of the organizers of the Palo Alto County event.
"We had a tremendous turnout that exceeded our expectations," she added. "In fact, we were so successful at packing the meals, we need to raise more funds."
In less than five hours, an estimated 500 volunteers packaged 119.016 meals.
"Then Feed Just One" comes from a quote by Mother Teresa:?"If you can't feed a hundred people, Then Feed Just One." TFJO operates in conjunction with Mission Honduras in LeMars. Al Vonnahme is President.
Each year TFJO ships four to five containers of food. But this could not happen without volunteers.
Palo Alto County volunteers measured fortified chicken-flavored casserole mix with seven dried vegetables and over 20 vitamins and minerals. Each 13.8 ounce package contains six one-cup meals.
The volunteers scooped measured amounts of food, weighed and sealed the bags, packed the bags into boxes and put the boxes on pallets.
At most tables, people rotated jobs so that everyone could experience each part of the process. Team Lenny, a table of students with an adult volunteer, claimed to have the most fun.
Sandy and Gerta were working at the same table.
"I'm overwhelmed by the love, when given a chance," said Sandy Currans.
"We're all working for a very worthwhile cause," added Gerta Luhman.
Sandy expressed the thought of many, "I?think I'd like to try the soup."
Here's the math of the day's work:
Six meals per bag and 36 bags per box which equals 216 meals per box.
66 boxes are loaded on a pallet, so that equals 14,256 meals per pallet
20 pallets (Dole Co. Container) equals 285,120 meals per container
At 16-cents per meal, that comes to $45,619.20 per container.
Where do all these packages of food go from Emmetsburg?
The semi that was parked at the Palo Alto County Fairgrounds goes to LeMars and then on to Gulfport, MS. Richard Seivert explained the route:
Pallets of meals are loaded on Dole Container Ships and transported into Puerto Cortes, Honduras. Then they go to Cerro de Plata Foundation in Tegueigalpa.
From there the food is distributed to 24-25 children's homes and orphanages, including Mother Teresa's Don de Maria.
Then Feed Just One "relieves hunger and saves lives in all:?MAM?(moderately acute malnourishment) and SAM?(severe acute malnourishment).
Would Saturday's volunteers do it again??It was a resounding "yes."