More than 60 students and community members gathered in the Shawano High School Commons Wednesday, packaging over 26,000 meals to be distributed across the community.
Meals of Hope is an organization that helps other groups package food to be donated.
Faith Schenk, president of the Shawano FFA says she first heard of Meals of Hope at the national convention for FFA. Since then, she has been working to make it the main service project for National FFA Week 2019.
“We helped plan out the event in October, and then we’ve been working ever since then on fundraising,” Schenk said.
The group managed to raise $6,500 through donations from the Shawano community.
“I’m very happy that we actually pulled this off,” Steve Stomberg, FFA Co-Advisor at Shawano High School said. “Our community is very supportive of this, raising $6,500 for the first time that we’ve done this.”
That community came together to help members of the Shawano community in need.
“These kids need to realize that hunger is a worldwide concern, and it’s happening right here in Shawano,” Stomberg said.
The meals will be distributed to area churches, schools, and food pantries for locals struggling to put food on the table.
“Knowing that we’re going to deliver this to the food pantries in our area and watch them get these boxes, these cases of meals and say, ‘here you go, here’s our donation to our community from our school district,'” Stomberg said.
The meals, macaroni and cheese with soybeans for protein, were put together assembly-line style.
“You go down the line, and each person has their own specific job,” Schenk said. “They’re either weighing, they’re scooping the meals, and sealing, whatever it may be.”
The Shawano FFA hopes to organize future Meals of Hope events in the future.