For the second year, volunteers packed the exhibits building at the Palo Alto County Fairgrounds as they packed meals for the needy.
Poverty and hunger are real and Palo Alto County residents made a difference last Saturday at the second annual Packing Day for "Then Feed Just One." An estimated 350 volunteers worked together, in three shifts, to pack meals to help fight world hunger.
"We had another great turnout this year," said Lois Stanley of Emmetsburg, one of the organizers of the Palo Alto County event. "And once again, we were so successful at packing the meals, we need to raise more funds for shipping. We need to raise another $3,500 for shipping."
PACKING DAY -- This group represents a part of the 350 volunteers who packed meals for the needy last Saturday. This is the second year for this event, held at the Palo Alto County Fairgrounds and coordinated by an ecumenical group of volunteers. On this one day in September, 118,152 meals were packed and should reach hungry families by Christmas. Look for more photos of “Then Feed Just One”?Packing Day on page 5 of The Democrat. --Jane Whitmore photo
To donate toward shipping costs, contact Lois Stanley at Stanley Propane or Bonnie Whitney at the Palo Alto County Recorder's Office in Emmetsburg.
In less than five hours, 19,692 bags were packed. That represents 118,152 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.
"The day went very well," said Richard Seivert of LeMars. "We had an excited group of volunteers that worked hard and had a lot of fun. It was a great day."
He added, "These meals should reach Honduras by Christmas."
At the end of the day, Seivert presented the Palo Alto County group with a plaque that will record the number of meals packed each year.
Each year TFJO ships four to five containers of food. 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 packets, packed the bags into boxes and put the boxes on pallets. 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 of these packages of food go from Emmetsburg?
The semi goes first to LeMars and then to Gulfport, MS. Pallets of meals are loaded on Dole Container Ships and transported to 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 orphanges, 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).