Tender Mercies packaging machine getting a workout
If you've been to the Morton warehouse of Midwest Food Bank you probably noticed the big machine that produces Tender Mercies meals. It's kind of hard to miss.
That machine doesn't run itself - MFB depends on dedicated volunteers. Those volunteers not only operate the machine but they clean and maintain it, too.
It's easy to talk about the numbers, and those numbers are impressive. So far this year 120,000 bags of Tender Mercies have been produced on the machine. That equates to 480,000 meals (each bag has four servings).
It takes a lot of effort to get to the point of getting the machine ready to produce product. The weekly cleaning schedule is a task that isn't very glamorous as every nook and cranny is meticulously cleaned. The volunteers, under the direction of staff member Gail Thorson, Tender Mercies Coordinator, regularly review how the machine is functioning and inspect all parts to make sure it is ready to go. Their log book helps them make sure the machine is running consistently.
This crew of volunteers can be described as mechanically minded, problem solvers with a heart to serve others. Please join us in thanking the Tender Mercies volunteer machine crew: Rob Alexander, Wayne Bryant, Janelle Crump, Jeff Keesey, Bob Kindred, Jim and Diane McNair, Greg Otte, Terry Powell, Earl Sauder, Ron Scott, Judy and Gary Vest, and CarolynSue Wolf.
The ten pallets of Tender Mercies provides nearly 53,000 meals. The packaging machine can produce about 1000 bags an hour (1 bag = 4 meals). Therefore, to produce 10 pallets it requires about 13 hours of volunteer hours running the machine.
"With the huge demand for Tender Mercies recently, the packaging machine has been running 4 times its usual production," says Gail Thorson, MFB's Tebder Mercies Coordinator. "The demand for Tender Mercies has increased due to its low cost and high nutritional value. It is also a great staple item for our agencies to have in their pantries when the demand for food is so great."
Tender Mercies is a Midwest Food Bank meal program and is housed at the Morton warehouse. Tender Mercies is a low-cost, highly nutritious meal packet that consists of high grade rice, pre-cooked pinto beans, chicken flavored fortified seasoning and soy protein. At MFB it is our desire to provide a high quality meal option that is available at all times.
To learn more about Tender Mercies, please stop by the Morton warehouse. We would love to share more about how God is using this meal packet.