The young workers get prepped for the process.
The assembly of the meals begin.
The boxes are packed. Dan Post photos
Lopez School students are continuing their work to help fight world hunger. Students in grades K-12 raised money to buy rice, spices, lentils, and chicken bouillion, which they packaged up and donated to Children of the Nations, a non-profit organization that assists destitute children and orphans by providing clothing, food, orphanages and other support in Malawi, the Dominican Republic, Sierra Leone, the U.S., and Uganda. The Lopez children sent a shipment of over 14,000 meals that they packaged especially for Malawi as their contribution last year, and this year the children sent packages to the Dominican Republic, packaging a whopping 18,372 meals.
“The students did a walkathon to raise money to buy the ingredients for the meals,” said Kim Foley, who spearheaded the event’s organization. “The middle school and elementary school walked laps every recess on Nov. 30, and the high school did it the same day, the last hour and 15 min of the day. It was Dr. Linda Martin’s idea to have the walkathon.”
Lopez has had a connection with Children of the Nations for years. Three Lopez School students (now graduated) traveled to Malawi through the organization, several years ago Lopez School sent over 25 cases of new textbooks to the country, and the Enchanted Quilters of Lopez have been making quilts for Children of the Nations for five years. They sent a shipment of 40 quilts last year to help. This year the Enchanted Quilters, the Lions Club, Sunset Hardware, and many community members and churches as well donated funds and services.
“The children raised the money to purchase the staples that went into the meals,” Foley commented. “One meal costs a quarter, and each packet is made up of lentils, spice, chicken bouillion, and rice. The different grades did an assembly line around the table with a funnel in the middle, and sang a little song as they worked: chicken rice, lentils and spice! The middle school and high school packaged about 13,000 meals together. The elementary school’s turn came and they packaged almost 5,400 meals by themselves. Everyone wore caps, aprons and gloves per the food service regulations. Then we weighed each package, vacuum sealed it, boxed it, and the children even decorated the containers with greetings from Lopez. The entire contribution from the students that day was 18,372 meals that we are sending to the Dominican Republic.
“The children were very excited about it and hope to do it again next year. The children were very pleased. We did this in little over two hours. It was quite the assembly line.”
In January, the Children of the Nations will be transporting four shipping containers through the Department of Defense. 400,000 meals, medical supplies, school supplies, as well as furniture for orphanages and schools and computers will be included as part of the shipment. Foley concluded. “The children were thrilled to be involved in part of a group effort to help other children, and they clearly saw the contribution they were able to make. In this economic atmosphere, they feel good knowing they’ve done what they can for others less fortunate.”