If anyone would step forward to roll up their sleeves and help feed the hungry, you would think it would be farm and ag people. After all, they are the original environmentalists, the first stewards of the soil and the people who raise the food. And you would be right on all counts.
For the fifth year in a row, a large number of volunteers in east-central Indiana gathered on a Saturday morning to pack meals that will be sent to hungry people both right here, and to hungry people abroad. It’s the Pack Away Hunger event, now in its fifth year, operated by a non-profit organization.
Twenty-three churches, 9 FFA chapters, a number of community organizations from various counties and employees and family members from Harvest Land Co-op gathered in the cafeteria at Hagerstown High School to pact meals.
Melissa Lovett, and FFA advisor, brought her students from Shenandoah High School in Henry County to help. Other advisors also brought FFA members to help, and be part of something bigger than themselves.
This year 162,216 meals were packed to be distributed, reports Lindsay Sankey, communications specialist for Harvest Land Co-op. It brings the total for meals packed and distributed over the five years fo the event to more than half a million. The exact total is 593,676. This year’s volunteers packed nearly 1,800 more meals than were packed at the same event one year ago.
Where do these meals that are packed go? Sankay says many go to Gleaner’s Midwest Food Bank. Others go to eleven more local food pantries, which receive between 1,000 and 10,000 meals each, depending upon the size of the area they cover.
Part of the meals will be shipped to Guatemala through Mission Guatemala, an effort to feed hungry people there. You can learn more about this effort at missionguatemala.com.