IT’s Friday, April 24, a day long anticipated by students, staff and administrators at the South Adams School in Berne, IN. The high school gymnasium has been transformed into a food packaging plant and by the time the final bell rings at 3 pm, 100,000 meals will be packaged, boxed and ready to ship to hungry children and families around the world.
Twelve stations, each organized into two separate packaging lines, will be manned throughout the day by students in grades K-12 as they prepare and seal “Manna Packs” consisting of rice, soy product, dried vegetables, and a vitamin mixture with added chicken flavoring. When water is added to the mixture, the prepared contents will make six meals.
Following a brief instructional orientation, the hairnet-clad students–a mix of elementary aged children and high school students–file into the gymnasium.
While a few students place labels on the “Manna Pack” bags, the majority of students are assigned to fill the packs at one of the 12 square, packaging stations.
Some of the older guys heft the filled boxes to the prepare-for-shipping area where each box is weighed then taped shut.
In three packing sessions, 101,088 meals filling 468 boxes were readied for distribution. This could potentially feed 277 kids a meal a day for an entire year, according to event organizers.
My great-niece, Brooklynn, and her fellow preschoolers along with those from the severely disabled classes draw and color on large sheets of paper that will line the bottom of each pallot of boxes.
A lump forms in my throat as I witness the diligence and enthusiasm of the students. I wonder if they can fathom the impact this 1 1/2 hour sliver of their lives will have on children and adults and families around the world. The lump grows as I envision the impoverished suffering of the children and adults and families for whom these meals will be a literal lifeline.
Feed My Starving Children is a non-profit Christian organization committed to feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit. The approach is simple: children and adults hand-pack meals specifically formulated for malnourished children, and we ship the meals to nearly 70 countries around the world.
Hands on learning at it’s best! Thanks, South Adams students, teachers and administrators for putting HANDS and FEET toward serving others.