Volunteering with kids is important for so many reasons, and it doesn’t seem like we talk about doing it often enough. Often we give people side-eye for sharing their good deeds on social media, but we forget that showing and exemplifying what’s important is the best way to pass it on. We try to share the needs of others with our children so they understand what kinds of issues plague our community, but we also try to show our children a way they can become a part of the solution.
Million Meal Movement with Kids
Million Meal Movement is a local organization that aims to help feed the nearly one million people that go hungry in Indiana. They do this by providing local food banks and other organizations with meals packed by volunteers.
Volunteering with Kids
The purpose of the Million Meal Movement was what drew me to this organization. Million Meal Movement has a two-fold vision: feeding the hungry and teaching the importance of volunteerism. This is 100% why we wanted to start volunteering with our children, to help others and to teach our children the importance of volunteering.
Volunteering as a Family or Group
One Saturday morning each month, volunteers gather at a warehouse in the Castleton area (near Books & Brews and Dream Dinners) to assemble meals that are full of vitamins and nutrients. These meals are packed assembly line style by a different group each month — some familiar faces return monthly, others come as a part of a school group or a church group and others come as a family.
Everyone watches a short video to learn about Million Meal Movement and how the meals are used and how the group will be packing the meals. Everyone washes their hands, gets a hairnet and then takes a position around a table. Some will measure rice or beans or seasonings and vitamins, others will seal the bags and others will fill boxes and load them on pallets.
What Ages Can Volunteer?
On the 3rd Saturday of every month, join in on a pack. This experience is recommended for age 6 and up. There is a fee to participate, this fee pays for a portion of the food that will be packed on that day.
During a typical Saturday pack, from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., up to 50 people will work together to pack 15,000 meals that are then distributed to the hungry. The meals from our pack were picked up the next day by the Midwest Food Bank and will be distributed to food pantries in the next few weeks. It’s amazing how quickly our work will have an impact on our community. Register your family now.
Million Meal Movement has a scholarship program for students where 10 students can attend a pack for free each month. Contact for more information.
Kids Enjoy Volunteering
My 8 year old probably had the best time, keeping track of how many boxes we had packed, counting and packing the finished meals and replenishing and loading food. Our 6 year old was great at weighing the bags, checking for accuracy and scooping rice in to get the weight of the meals correct. Both of them were excited to complete the task and interested in the reason we were doing this and who we were packing for.