Over 250 volunteers of all ages gathered at St. Anthony High School in Long Beach Saturday morning to assemble prepackaged meals for hungry children.
In under two hours, volunteers packed 500 boxes containing 25,000 meals to feed 2,500 children in Long Beach for 10 weekends, according to Ron Klabunde, CEO and Founder of Generosity Feeds.
Around 24 tables were set up to contain 12 to 15 people per table. Volunteers worked together in assembly line fashion to scoop different ingredients into bags, heat seal the bags shut and put them into boxes. Each bag contained a meal of black beans and rice that consisted of five dehydrated ingredients: black beans, rice, beef base, vegetable blend and roux.
“It’s beneficial for the community… [I] work with children from the community so it’s a cause that’s dear to my heart so I figured this might be something good to do,” said Angelica Hernandez, a teacher at Long Beach City College Child Development Center.
Generosity Feeds worked with sponsors such as customizable pizza business MOD Pizza and You Run This Town Foundation, a non-profit charity organization that helps students in their education. According to Klabunde, Generosity Feeds focuses on feeding children during the weekends because many students receive free food during school days but nothing on the weekends.
“We were chosen [by Generosity Feeds] because our school has a mission to help. This is what we do,” said Chris McGuiness, assistant principal at St. Anthony High School.
Klabunde said the black beans and rice meal was chosen as the meal because it is the “most ethnically diverse food that Americans eat.” To eat the meal, the person needs to empty the bag into two cups of boiling water and let it cook. He also said that the meal could be be turned into a soup with extra water or changed depending on extra spices and ingredients added to it.
After the packs were sealed, the boxes were carried out to multiple onsite organizations who will handle distribution.
The Long Beach State Beach Pantry will receive 10,000 meals and St. Anthony High School will receive 500 meals for their students, according to a printed spreadsheet shown by Kayla Marie, a Generosity Feeds staff member.
The students who will receive these meals will be chosen by the organization, although many are identified through free and reduced programs at the different schools, according to Klabunde.
“Honestly, it was just really crazy to think about what a difference we’re making,” Sara Mueller, a junior at St. Anthony High School, said. “I really hope we can do it again and inspire others to do the same thing.”