SYCAMORE – More than 350 people filed into the operations area of The Suter Co. building Thursday on Bethany Road. They were the first shift of volunteers for the Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack, put on each of the past eight years by Make a Difference DeKalb County.
After a brief orientation, including a video demonstrating the proper way to scoop the dehydrated vegetables and vitamin mix, volunteers went to 18 stations in the shipping area of the facility and got to work.
It got noisy fast.
“I love it. It’s so much fun,” Kendra Struven said.
She came with the Student Nurse Organization of Kishwaukee College. It was the first time the group has come to the event, but Struven said she’d been to it four or five times before.
Struven held the plastic meal pack underneath a funnel while other volunteers scooped in the four ingredients: vitamin powder, dried veggies, soy and rice. After the ingredients are in the bag, it’s passed down the line, where the package is sealed and boxed.
The event packs meals for the Feed My Starving Children, a Minnesota-based organization that ships food to children in more than 70 countries around the world. Mobile packs such as the one in Sycamore have helped the organization ship more than 1.8 billion meals.
The majority of the volunteers worked at the packing stations – up to 20 people at each – but there were other groups. One group of volunteers placed labels on the bag, noting when it was packed and where, and when it is best used by. The meal packs from this event are best used by November 2020. The bag itself contains all of the nutritional information of the meals and preparation instructions.
On the other side of the site, another team assembled boxes. The Sell siblings, Caden and McKenna, were helping as part of a team from Home School Hub. They didn’t have a quota to get through, but said they were trying to get through as many boxes as possible during their shift.
The meal pack is a four-day event that will go through Sunday afternoon. Groups signed up in advance for the event, and Heidi Wright, board vice president for Make a Difference DeKalb County, said most of the slots for the four days were full. If you still want to volunteer, there is space Saturday night, she said.
You can sign up on the organization’s website, www.makeadifferencedc.org/volunteering.
Make a Difference DeKalb County buys the foodstuffs for the pack event, and will accept donations at the pack site.