Cup of Grace holds Mercy Meal packing session

Morgan Cardenas, Staff Writer

Many WSC students gathered at Cup of Grace last Wednesday and Thursday to package meals for the less fortunate through Mercy Meals of Nebraska, an organization based in Norfolk.

“Mercy Meals is a non-profit that packages food that gets sent oversees to countries that are less fortunate than we are,” said Rhonda Wrenholt, Mercy Meals director.

Clubs signed up for time slots to help package throughout both days. Club members would go in, sign their name, wash their hands and put on aprons and hair nets. They were then placed at different stations to package.

“I’m involved in Theta Phi Alpha sorority, PT (physical therapy) club and health science club, so I went at different times for each one to help get involved and help others,” freshman Jordyn Brester said. “I really liked how we helped a lot of people in need and it was a great bonding experience with the people in my clubs and sorority.”

Wayne is the only town Mercy Meals travels to, with a visit annually. If students want to help more than once a year, they can travel to Norfolk to volunteer. Wrenholt explained that groups volunteer from towns like Columbus, Albion and Ainsworth for about an hour and a half.

“We put soy flakes, chicken flavoring, dried vegetables and white rice all into one bag that gets sealed up with an expiration date and is good for up to two years,” Wrenholt said. “One bag will feed six people for 72 cents so one box will feed 216 people for only 26 dollars.”

Cup of Grace has worked with Mercy Meals since they started and continues to ask them back annually. Though they prefer to stay around Norfolk due to transporting the Orphan Grain Train with the product, Mercy Meals has other locations that are accessible to others.

“Our main goal is to fight hunger,” Wrenholt said. “We want to make it easier for people to get food so that they can lead a healthy life.”

The food sent by Mercy Meals to help feed families and children has reached around 18 different countries. Brester said volunteering with Mercy Meals shows students how something as simple as packaging food can help a lot of people.

“I love meeting all the people here,” Wrenholt said. “I get to see how good they feel and how good their hearts are. They always have a smile on their face and are so happy to come and do this and they only have to volunteer an hour of their time and they get to meet many people.”

Volunteers of all ages are welcome to sign up and help at Mercy Meals anytime on Mondays, Tuesdays, or Wednesdays.