Meals from the Heartland Kicks Off Annual Hunger Fight

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Meals from the Heartland hopes to package five million meals in four days for the tenth Annual Hunger Fight event.

Executive Director Susan Bunz said they hope to have 11,000 volunteers come to Hy-Vee Hall to help.

“Our meals do go all over the world, but many stay right here in central Iowa through a Unite to Feed partnership we have with DMARC and the food bank. So then they go into meals where we add other ingredients and those are for emergency food relief at the food banks. But they also go to about 12 countries around the world through feeding programs that feed kids who would otherwise not get a meal in a day,” Bunz said.

Bunz added, each volunteer shift is two hours long, they have music playing and really try to make it a fun day.

Volunteer David Abram said he’s been volunteering with Meals from the Heartland before it even got its name.

“Favorite part of it is seeing the tremendous amount of boxes we have of food as we pack them up on pallets and leave. And we stop to think about all those people that are going to be fed. That’s a favorite part of it,” Abram said.

Abram added, he loves to see all different people from all different walks of life and faith come together in one room.

“It’s just great to see so many people who really care about feeding the hungry. And of course with Houston now, we realize how many hungry people are down there and you multiply that by millions around the world and that’s what our task is. To see so many people respond to other peoples' needs and give up their time for that purpose is really great,” Abram said.

Bunz said Meals from the Heartland is working with its partner Convoy of Hope who is on the ground now in Texas, helping people who need food.

Right now they are in need of ready-made food, but in the coming days will most likely send some of the rice and soy meals to Texas.

The Annual Hunger Fight is August 30 - September 2. Volunteer shifts are available from 9 a.m.- 8p.m. Wednesday - Friday and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturday.

To volunteer sign up on the Meals from the Heartland website.