Students Share Of Themselves To Help Feed Others

Oskaloosa Christian School students helped to pack 20,000 meals for the Meals from the Heartland program on Friday afternoon.

Oskaloosa Christian School students helped to pack 20,000 meals for the Meals from the Heartland program on Friday afternoon.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – There was organized chaos on Friday afternoon as the student body of the Oskaloosa Christian School worked diligently to package 20,000 meals for those in need.

Oskaloosa Christian School Principal Don Mitchell was found helping out at various stations on Friday, making sure the Meals from the Heartland effort went well.

The school and Fellowship Bible Church have been partnering for several years “for us to do a service project of this magnitude,” explained Mitchell. “This involves our entire student body and staff.”

“I’m humbled,” said Mitchell of the efforts to prepare meals. “I’m humbled by the fact that I get to see these young people make a difference in other people’s lives. They may not be people that they will ever meet, but they are serving Christ, and they’re serving others. That’s what we want them to do. To look around and see everyone from a little kindergartner all the way up to an eighth-grader working together.”

In the afternoon, adults will take over bagging meals, and the plan was to have produced 50,000 meals in a single day.

For Mitchell, it was the first time he had watched or participated in the Meals from the Heartland process. “It’s kind of fun just to sit back and watch. Just watch the kids. Watch how you’ve got an eighth-grader standing next to a kindergartner working together to get the job done. To me, that’s just priceless.”

Georgie Filber is a Mobile Hunger Fight Manager at Meals from the Heartland and is no stranger to Oskaloosa, where he was a youth pastor at Fellowship Bible.

Filber explained that the meals that are packaged can be sent to any of 26 different countries the program works in, which includes the people of Iowa and the United States.

Approximately 90 percent of all the meals packaged go overseas. Last year, meals were used to help feed the hungry after disasters in such places as Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Houston, and Mexico. “We sent 10 of our 23 million meals out in that part of the world. The other 13 million went out for children’s feeding initiatives. On a regular basis, we will distribute meals [to] schools, churches, feeding centers, orphanages. Sometimes those are all [in] the same building.”

Filber says the meals help “open up doors for education, healthcare, for clean water, for church ministries, all those types of things. Our meals are just one piece of the puzzle. If you can imagine people that are in desperate, life-threatening situations, our meals are really getting them to the next day and really boosting their nutrition levels so they can get an education, get a job, provide for themselves, and hopefully not be on our meals for very long.”

Each bagged meal contains four ingredients. Rice, soy, a vitamin powder, and a dry veggie mix.

The rice comes from Houston, the vitamins and veggies are from Minnesota and Illinois, the soy is grown in Iowa, and the bags and boxes used are printed in Iowa.

Each meal bag can feed six people. “Not six grown men here in America, but definitely six children in where we are sending our meals,” explained Filber.

“It’s a simple meal, and it tastes great the way it is,” said Filber of the packaged food. “Typically we’re going to see them add their own local seasonings and spices and then probably some local protein.”

Each meal costs twenty cents to produce, and the total cost to produce the 50,000 meals is $10,000.

The Oskaloosa Rotary and local churches provided the funding for the Meals from the Heartland event.

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Posted by on Nov 3 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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