Not all student learning happens in a classroom. Learning outside the classroom helps to plug students into their world. Among other things, it helps students develop skills in a widening range of environments. While volunteering at a Tender Mercies packing event is not necessarily academic, students who participate often leave with an enriched outlook in life. 

Over the past two years, Bradley University in Peoria, IL, has partnered with Midwest Food Bank Morton to host and sponsor four Tender Mercies packing events. The ingredients for the meals are brought onsite for students to assemble. In addition to putting the Tender Mercies meals together, the students cover the cost of ingredients of the meals.  Over these two years, about 465 students have packaged over 100,000 meals that have been distributed in the Central Illinois area.

"This is an amazing opportunity to work with students in their own environment, say Gail Thorson, Midwest Food Bank's Tender Mercies Coordinator. Many of the students return for subsequent events."

Do you have a student group  available for Tender Mercies packing? Contact Gail via email ( or phone (309-291-0900) to discuss opportunities.