While helping to pack 50,016 macaroni and cheese meals Tuesday, GE Energy volunteers joked that they were getting back to their manufacturing roots.
More than 150 volunteers from a dozen groups stood in an assembly line measuring, weighing, sealing and packing meals to be distributed through the Carson Valley Community Food Closet.
“We got involved because it’s one of the things happening in the community that reflects our values and how we like to stay involved,” GE’s Holly Spiers said. “It’s going really quick.”
Cheers erupted from the Sierra Lutheran High School gymnasium with every box filled with 32 packets of food.
“We want to give back to our community,” Shere Brown of Greater Nevada Credit Union said. “We just completed 36 bags in maybe 10 minutes. This event is amazing, and a great opportunity to help people in need.”
Sponsored by Meals of Hope, event director Dustin Funk is looking to double the amount of meals packed next year. According to FDA guidelines, one 12.5-ounce packet of macaroni and cheese contains six portions.
“When we move into a new community our goal is to get 100,000, but we usually get 40,000-60,0000,” Funk said. “We are right in the middle of that so our second annual event we’ll get 100,000.”
Lisa Anderson brought her four children with her to pack meals with Alex Pieters Insurance Company, which sponsored 2,500 meals.
“We want to serve the Lord and this is one way we can show the love of Christ to others,” Anderson said. “We want to be Christ-like and Jesus was a servant.”
Trinity Lutheran Church also sponsored 2,500 meals.
“It’s a good event because you get to help people out who are in need of food and don’t know what their next meal will be,” 15-year-old Grace Bonafede said. “It’s a good feeling. Serving others is important because that’s what Jesus would do.”
Carson Valley Medical Center Director of Outreach Shannon Albert said people would be surprised by how many food-insecure families there are in Douglas County.
“We try and get out in the community as much as possible, and this is a big need with the food insecurities,” she added. “We want to help out the community and fill a need.”
Sarah Sanchez, Carson Valley Community Food Closet Director said the meals would last about 45 days.
“It definitely gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling,” she said. “People helping people is one of the best things to be a part of. It’s inspiring to see how businesses showed up, but also how many individuals wanted to participate.”
For more information, visit www.mealsofhope.org.