ROGERS (KFSM)- More than 1,000 volunteers have put together hundreds of thousands of meals for those in need in Northwest Arkansas.
The event is called "Fill The Funnel" and it is put on by an organization called PackShack.
"Our goal is to pack over 300,000 meals that will be given to seven different hunger relief organizations across Northwest Arkansas,” said Bret Raymond, co-founder of PackShack.
The event, called a ‘party,’ was held at Cross Church Pinnacle Hills Thursday and Friday.
To start a party, volunteers donate ingredients, and then put it together in teams of five.
"The meals that we are packing this weekend are cheesy-rice and vegetable meals that we developed together with our friends at Tyson,” Raymond said. “They have rice and soy protein, dehydrated vegetables, 19 different vitamins and minerals, some cheese, and some salt. [The cost of production] breaks down to be about a quarter per meal.”
Teams are rewarded with prizes for putting together each meal quickly. Each individual meal is sealed, packed, and delivered to local shelters.
"This is one of the needs we have in the community,” said Jamie Lanezsch, minister of pastoral care at Cross Church. “We want to be a part of that helping.”
Lanezsch said the church felt they were a perfect place to host an event like this.
"Our mission statement is reaching Northwest Arkansas, America, and the world for Jesus Christ,” Lanezsch said. “So, now we are able to do it right here at home.”
Cross Church members weren’t the only group to donate their..
"It's the businesses coming together. It's the generous people of Northwest Arkansas, and the churches coming together for this cause,” Lanezsch said.
The meals made by the volunteers have a shelf-life of more than a year.
"It's really neighbors taking care of neighbors,” Raymond said. “It's a very satisfying feeling.”
There will be one more day of meal-packing on Saturday (Mar. 14) at Cross Church Pinnacle Hills.