WAUKEE, Iowa – Eason Elementary students are giving back to the community this holiday season by packaging meals.
The school partners with the nonprofit Meals From the Heartland.
Meals From the Heartland Hunger Fight Manager Mike Frandsen said the nonprofit packages dry meals for people across the world.
“We are right now working with 12 different countries and feeding anywhere from 180,000 to 200,000 people every week,” Frandsen said.
Eason Elementary First Grade Teacher Micki Schumacher said the school wanted to find a way to involve all of its students in giving back to the community.
“We do a lot of introduction with our class just in how we can give back to the community,” Schumacher said.
Each grade level works about 45 minutes to package as many meals as possible. The students stand in an assembly line adding rice, soy protein, minerals, vitamins and dried vegetables into a bag and then seal it.
“We do this kind of setup at different schools, churches and businesses. We also do this permanently at our warehouse five days a week,” Frandsen said.
First Grade student Barrett Dean said, “I like volunteering to help kids who can’t afford buying it and for the parents who can’t afford buying it.”
Fifth Grade Student John Anthony Cross said, “When you do something it helps other people and it helps spread kindness.”
First Grade Student Brooke Dean said, “It gives people meals when they don’t have enough money.”
Frandsen said all of the schools in the Waukee district volunteered with the nonprofit.
Eason Elementary packaged more than 25,000 dry meals for people Monday.
“They are just so excited. They cannot wait to come down and package meals and they are just thrilled to help out the community,” Schumacher said.
People can stop by Meals From the Heartland warehouse Tuesday through Saturday to volunteer for two hours packaging as many meals as possible.
Meals From the Heartland is located 357 Lincoln Street, West Des Moines.