Once inside we had to fill out some paperwork and wait for everyone else to get settled. On this particular day there were at least 50 volunteers including a boy scout troop and indian princess tribe. Some kids were there for community service hours and others just to help out. It was neat to go on a tour of the warehouse and to hear a little more about how their programs work.
Our job for the day was to sort the canned goods from can day at the NC Fair which was 18,000 pounds of food. We were particularly looking for "pop top" meals. These would be items such as beef-aroni, chunky soups or other chef boyardee meals. These items are very important to the food bank because of their backpack program which is "intended to meet the nutritional needs of children during non-school hours, specifically weekends". It was pointed out that meals are best that the kids can open and heat by themselves since the kids may not otherwise get a meal.
Here are the girls sorting the cans and putting them in the right bins.
Maddie wore out about 30 minutes into running around and so we sat on the side for a little while but within an hour and a half all 18,000 pounds of food had been sorted. There was lots of corn and beans which are very important for other ministries they supply but we didn't even fill a box with pop-top items for the kids. The guy coordinating said they do this particular activity with kids to show how hard it is for them to get items for their backpack program.
So... if you are participating in a food drive this holiday season please consider helping the backpack program by donating some of their most needed items (list also available on their website).
Grains: Graham and/or animal crackers, light popcorn, whole grain cereal/granola bars, individual cereal boxes
Protein: Spaghetti & meatballs, raviolo, beefaroni, lasagna (pop top or microwave cups preferred)
Fruit: Canned fruit/fruit cups in light syrup, dried fruit (raisins, plums, cranberries), applesauce
Miscallaneous: Fat-free sugar free pudding cups, 100% juice
Also, for those local, our family will be collecting these items as well to take to the food bank in December so feel free to drop them by and we will deliver them for you.
This was valuable time spent for us this past weekend, not just in serving but also in educating us more about the needs of those in our community. May we not just hear and learn of the needs but also work toward meeting them.