Over 100,000 Meal Packs Complete in Four Years

Perry Lutheran Homes served as the host organization for a "Meals from the Heartland" meal packing event for the fourth year on Wednesday, May 1. These meals feed undernourished people primarily in third world countries.

With the help of 300 volunteers in 7 hours, 30,024 meal packs were made on May 1. When combined with another 30,024 in 2018, 24,192 in 2017, and 22,680 in 2016, the four-year total surpasses the 100,000 meal packs complete mark. A grand total of 106,920 meal packs were complete helping 641,520 people in need.

In addition to the meal-packing event, 300 volunteers learned about Perry Lutheran Homes inter-generational living, innovations, awards and eldercare outreach in Haiti and at home through the StepUp movement. A group of 68 third graders also made personalized May Day cards for each of the resident’s living at Perry Lutheran Homes. It was a day of community spirit, togetherness, serving others, and making a difference.

“Our residents live a life of purpose and meaning at Perry Lutheran Homes. Through events like this, they are connected to and a part of the community. No matter your age or ability, you can always teach others, inspire others and serve others,” shares Melissa Gannon, Chief Operating Officer and Administrator at Perry Lutheran Homes.

To complete this many meal packs in 2019, over $6,000 needed to be raised to cover the cost of the meal content. Among the community donors supporting the event were Fareway, HyVee, Great Western Bank, Raccoon Valley Bank, Van Wall, Perry Kiwanis Club, Perry Optimist Club, Perry Rotary Club, Lions Club, Thrivent Financial, Christ Lutheran Church Bouton, Zion Lutheran Church Ogden, Perry’s St. Patrick Catholic and First United Methodist, and many individuals. Employees of Perry Lutheran Homes and Acorns & Oaks Christian Daycare also raised $1,400 among themselves.

“In addition to thanking our volunteers, we want to thank our partners who helped make this event possible by supporting the purchase of meal content,” expresses Wanda Pritzel, Director of Philanthropy for Perry Lutheran Homes.

This event marked the last year of Meals from the Heartland; however, Perry Lutheran Homes is making plans to continue an annual event with volunteers and partners invited to join them again next year, but with a shift of focus from third world countries to local ‘Invisible Elders’ in need of help. The event will take place on May 1, 2020.