We Are the World, and DMPS Students Help Keep Everyone Fed
Last week an army of more than 15,000 volunteers packaged 5.1 million meals in the 5th annual Meals From the Heartland (MFTH) campaign to stamp out world hunger. And DMPS was well-represented in the ranks as hundreds of students showed up for various shifts during the four-day effort staged at Hy-Vee Hall.
Leading the way was the Wolf Pack from Harding Middle School which sent a contingent of 156 lifesavers on Friday afternoon to fill the bags that filled the boxes that filled the pallets that filled the trucks. Thirty-six bags per box, 66 boxes per pallet…spoon, weigh, seal, pack; repeat.
Other groups from the district pitching in last week included more than six dozen kids from the North High School Communities in Schools program, delegations from the girls’ swimming and drama programs at Roosevelt High School, the “Railettes” from Lincoln High School, a table crew from Callanan Middle School and a sizable squad from Hiatt Middle School.
Full pallets were forklifted onto a turntable that slowly spun them while a machine shrink-wrapped the boxes to prevent toppling. Watching it work was almost as dizzying as watching the mini-assembly lines at each of the hundreds of tables do their stuff. The pale green hair nets coordinated surprisingly well with the smiles and purple Wolf Pack polos.
Upbeat music and a slide show on a giant screen that everybody stayed too busy to watch (example: someone dies every 3.6 seconds from hunger and 75% of them are kids) kept up a steady pace and motivation, interrupted only when a pep talker took the stage to announce that the three million meal mark had been eclipsed. The troops cheered and went straight to work on the fourth million.
MFTH has distributed more than 23 million meals to starving people, most of them children, around the world in the last five years.
This year it got a lot of helping hands from a school district where scores of languages are spoken and two out of three students qualify for free and reduced price meals. In short, DMPS is a school district that’s the world in a nutshell.