Hillary Clinton said it takes a village to raise a child and Pastor Steve Schmidt of says it only takes about 50 volunteers and about four hours to feed nearly 132,000 people.
“We were able to raise funds to package 21,965 meals,” said Schmidt of the food packaging event this month. “It’s 25 cents per meal and each package feeds six people."
Schmidt said that 25 cents buys the ingredients and packaging for the fortified meals called Kids Care Meals. He said 4,000 were sent to the Ledyard Food Pantry and the rest were give to the Gemma Moran Food Center in New London.
“It's amazing how much food goes out for the region from Gemma Moran,” he said.
The Ledyard Food Locker does receive supplies from the Gemma Moran Center, which distributed more than 1.7 million pounds of food throughout the region last year, according to its website.
The meals have three times the nutrition and are fortified with protein and vitamins, according to Schmidt who said they were designed to be given to people who are food insecure and will be in need of calories and nutrition.
The meal packs come in a variety of flavors like macaroni and cheese, beans and rice or vegetable.
“It's good, it might take a little time getting used to if you're used to Kraft macaroni and cheese but it's good,” said Schmidt. “It's v easy and inexpensive to doctor it up and make it a little differently.”
Schmidt said adding vegetables, beef or chicken would be inexpensive additives.
The meals come from a company called Outreach Inc., of Iowa, said Schmidt, and they were made “with the idea that they wanted to feed the hungry in this country.”
Schmidt said packaging nearly 22,000 meals made the effort the fourth largest packaging event in New England and that with another event will take place again in the fall.
St Luke Lutheran Church, , , , and the have all teamed up to go for the largest packaging event in New England.
The next event is scheduled for Sept. 29 with hopes that volunteers and funds from the five groups will package 50,000 to 75,000 meals for area food pantries. Schmidt said the endeavor may take about seven to eight hours.
“This may become an annual event for the community or maybe the schools will pick it up,” he said. “It's a great family activity and people can volunteer for an hour or more.”
The church will be signing up volunteers and tacking donations at the Ledyard Fair but if people want to send a check, they can make it out to Kids Care Meals.