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UN Civil Society Conference starts its massive food service project

(Credit: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – Thousands of volunteers are hard at work inside the Salt Palace, putting meals together for hundreds of thousands of people across the country.  It’s part of the UN Civil Society Conference taking place until Wednesday.

Inside the volunteer section of the Salt Palace, it felt more like a party than a service project.  People, donned in red hairnets, packed thousands of meals while jamming out to Imagine Dragons, Earth Wind and Fire and Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music.”  Every time a box was filled, someone rang a bell and the volunteers would cheer.

The meals consisted of things like pasta and other dry items.

Sharon Eubank with Latter Day Saint Charities says, “It’s made so that you can add things to it to fit what your family likes.”

The boxes will be sent to any place where Feeding Children Everywhere has a network.  The company is based out of Orlando, Florida, but they have warehouses all over America.

(Credit: Paul Nelson)

“If you live in a rural location, and you don’t have any access to a food bank, you can use their network and it gets shipped to you through the mail,” Eubank says.

American Airlines and JustServe also helped coordinate the service project, and organizers were stunned to see how many people signed up to help.  Feeding Children Everywhere CEO Dave Green says they filled their volunteer spots about five days before the event started, but there were still a lot of people who wanted to lend a hand.

Green says, “Basically, everyone was in agreement that if there was any way possible to open up any more volunteer spots, we were going to do it.  So, they added another thousand volunteer spots which filled up in about three days.”

There original goal was to package and ship 370 thousand meals for those in need.  However, since they had so many volunteers, they boosted their goal.

“We’ll package 500 thousand meals, as a result,” Green says.

The food packaging will continue through the end of the United Nations Civil Society Conference  on Wednesday.