- Published on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 13:06
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Set-up for Operation Sharehouse began at noon on Sunday, Nov. 18 at the King George Family YMCA. The first shift of volunteers from partner, NSWC Federal Credit Union unloaded tables from the trailer, courtesy of KG Builders Association, and set them up in half of the basketball court of the gym.
As pallets of food stuffs and work supplies were unloaded from the van, the volunteers began the work of setting up each table for its specific function for the day’s event.
The goal was to fill packages with a meal of rice and soy as part of the Meal Packaging Program of Stop Hunger Now. Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world. The organization is driven by a vision of a world without hunger and a mission to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable and by creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.
According to Stop Hunger Now, “the meals pack a big punch. Every dehydrated rice/soy meal is fortified with 21 essential vitamins and nutrients. Research has shown that one in three people in developing countries are adversely affected by vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Addressing the problem of hunger is the single point where we can leverage relief for all humanitarian issues.”
Row one, had 14 tables. Each table was equipped with a funnel and containers filled with rice, dried vegetables, a soy mixture and vitamin/flavoring packet. Each container had a cup or spoon to use to fill the plastic bags for the meal package. Five or sometimes six volunteers manned each table in this row. Runners, usually the youngsters, would take the filled bags over to the weighers, and return empty trays to fillers to be refilled.
Row two was equipped with portable scales, and a bowl of rice for the “weighers” to either add to the packet or take out of the package to get the package the correct weight. On the other side of the same row were the “sealers.” Their job was to take the finished product and heat seal it for boxing up. five-gallon buckets were at the feet of the “sealers” to drop the sealed meal packet in.
On the side of the sealers, runners would take the sealed packets over to the final table, the “packers.” Their job was to count out 36 sealed packages, stuff them in a cardboard box, seal the box with tape and load it on the pallets.
By the end of the day, in just over two-and-a-half hours, over 130 volunteers at this event packaged 36,000 meals. That is 6000 packages. Every time 1000 meals were boxed up, a gong was sounded. Volunteers cheered and clapped.
Just over $9,000 was raised for this year’s event. The goal was $10,000. That monetary goal was not reached in 2012, but there was an increase of 10,000 more meals packaged this year then in 2011.
The next Operation Sharehouse scheduled for Nov. 24, 2013. More volunteers are needed. Donations can be made all year long to events.stophungernow.org/FletchersChapel2013 or sent to Fletchers Chapel, 8330 Fletchers Chapel Rd. King George, VA 22485.
This is a community event, not restricted to one group or another. All of King George and community groups and organizations are invited to participate in the 2013 event.
With your help, we can StopHungerNow.