It’s hard to imagine what may have been going through the minds of Catawba Springs Elementary School students as they assembled meal packages to be sent to impoverished families. The packages contained long grain white rice, crushed, fortified soy, dehydrated vegetables and vitamin powder, none of which may have seemed terribly appealing to these students.
The event was made possible by Servants with a Heart, an organization formed by husband and wife team, Suzanne and Jeff Yoh based out of Charlotte. Each individual package will make a total of six, single cup servings. One single cup serving provides enough nutrients to nourish a child, even if that is the only food he or she eats that day. “Nourish” is the key term, it may not take care of the hunger but it’ll help to keep them alive.
“The kids really have a good time packing the food,” Kristin Reynolds said. “It’s something they can do with their hands and they know it’s giving back to families in need. ”
The packing came with an education for the students. Prior to beginning the packaging, the students received a lesson from volunteers with Servants with a Heart on what poverty and hunger is and how it is both local and overseas. Then they were trained on how to assemble the meal bags. Each grade level spent an hour in the gym assembling the packets. The elementary school students were assisted throughout the day with East Lincoln High School students, including members of the varsity football team.
On tables which spanned the gym at the school, students and volunteers, wearing gloves and hair nets prepared thousands of these meal packs which will be sent primarily to Niguarda with 10% of the total packets staying in the greater Charlotte area.
Servants With a Heart started in 2011 to feed hungry children and their families and to encourage volunteers to make an impact. To date, Servants with a Heart volunteers have packed and delivered more than 18 million meals with more than a million distributed locally. The organization is entirely volunteer-driven.