Volunteers at the Perry Lutheran Home started their assembly-line packaging at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and by the time the Meals from the Heartland program ends at 4 p.m., more than 22,000 meals will be have been packaged.
Mike Frandsen, a Meals from the Heartland coordinator from the group’s West Des Moines warehouse, said about 10 percent of the nonprofit organization’s packaged meals feed undernourished people right here in central Iowa. The rest go to countries such as Haiti, Ghana and South Africa, Frandsen said.
Dr. Randy McCaulley of the Perry Lutheran Home sought local volunteers to work one-hour shifts on the packaging line. He said about 180 volunteers were needed, and about 225 stepped forth.
“We are very grateful for the support the community has shown this project,” McCaulley said. He said a fourth packaging table was added to accommodate the many volunteers, which included a number of residents of the Perry Lutheran Home.
Thrivent Financial was one of the sponsors of the Perry Meals from the Heartland packaging event. Alan Metz, a financial consultant in Thrivent’s Ames office, was on hand to present a $500 grant check to McCaulley, calling the Meals from the Heartland program “one of the many worthy causes supported by Thrivent Financial.”
Frandsen said the Meals from the Heartland warehouse packages meals five days a week, and he also coordinates anywhere from two to six remote events at locations such as Perry. He thanks the Perry volunteers, who were drawn from businesses, schools, churches and community organizations around town.