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Service Project for Kids: Fall Harvest Boxes for Meals on Wheels

Every fall, the Meals on Wheels organization in our community works to provide food for the elderly through a project called Fall Harvest Boxes.  Members of the community are called on to fill, decorate, and deliver boxes full of food and basic necessities to Meals on Wheels.  The Fall Harvest Boxes are delivered to those needing assistance.

The Clinger Family has been volunteering with Meals on Wheels, bringing all four of their children along when bringing meals to the elderly.  In September, I saw a posting on Facebook about a project they were doing, a chance to donate food that would be included in Fall Harvest Boxes for Meals on Wheels.  That was a new project for me, and we eagerly signed up to bring some food.

With our assignment in hand, we were off to buy the food.  We have been focusing on fighting childhood hunger, and this was a different experience as we were buying food for the elderly.  We talked about why it is hard for the elderly to buy and prepare food, what it means to be on a fixed income, and how we would feel if our own grandparents didn’t have the money to buy enough food.  Our conversation inspired us to plan more service projects for the elderly.  Service projects like this are helpful to teach the boys what it is like to live in circumstances other than our own.  It is also a great reminder to be grateful for the plentiful access to quality food that we have in our community.

With our food donation, we made arrangements to drop off the food and asked to see the boxes in action.
When we arrived with our food, the Clinger Family had 25 boxes, in varying levels of completion, ready for our donation.  The boxes looked so great, nicely decorated!  And, talk about organized!  Every box had a list of items to check off once included.  No single box was going to go short with this family!
The Clinger Family used Sign Up Genius to help with coordinating people to sign up for specific items to make sure that enough of each item were donated for the boxes.  Don’t want to give an incomplete box!  A great idea from this family:  Use Facebook to invite people to the project and send reminders out to those participating.
Family, friends, teachers, and coworkers were invited.  Some families donated money to buy food for the boxes.  Some families (like us) gave food.  And there were even families that helped decorate boxes.  In all, over 15 families added their efforts to fill the Fall Harvest Boxes that the Clinger Family was putting together.
The Dad of the family even got his work to get in on the action.  His work ended up donating 15 complete Fall Harvest Boxes.  In total, this family service project completed 40 Fall Harvest Boxes to help Meals on Wheels.

What an incredible project!  It was quite easy for us to participate, and the Clinger Family (who did the major part of organizing and putting together the boxes) plans to do it again next year!

Want an idea of the types of things in the box?  To fill an entire box, the cost was around $33. 

Here are a few of the items:
o (1) 5 oz. cans of white chicken breast meat

o (1) small can of vegetables with pull top

o (1) small can of pork and beans with pull top

o (1) 18 oz. jar of peanut butter

o (2) packages of (8) assorted peanut butter and cheese snack crackers 

This family service project is an excellent example of how we can all help work together to fill a need in our community.

Want more ideas on how to fight hunger?

Kids Learning About Hunger and Homelessness: Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen

Fight Hunger Ideas on Pinterest