Meals from the Heartland


Bryleigh De Jong, Reporter

For three years, Pella High’s Student Council has been raising money for students to package meals for hungry families in the U.S. and around the world through Meals from the Heartland. The event finally happened on April 5.
During the week of the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP), the student body of Pella High packaged over 80,000 meals in two hours.
“Packaging with Meals from the Heartland was not only a great way to make a positive impact on our world, but it also provided a fun experience for the students and a way for them to work together for a greater cause,” said junior Hannah Nedder, head of the fundraising committee.
The fundraising committee consists of Nedder, Riley Sorheim, Ashley Uitermarkt, Natalie Boll, Norma Spiker, Madeline Schmitz, Ryder Bates, Tatum Carlstone, and Bryleigh De Jong. They raised $16,000 dollars through communicating to local businesses and applying for grants.
“Almost three years of planning has gone into this event, so it was amazing to finally be able to gather the whole school together to package meals,” said Nedder.
The sponsors for the event were Marion County Community Foundation, Pella Community Foundation, Kuyper Foundation, Vermeer Charitable Foundation, Garden and Associates, Fareway, and the Meals from the Heartland Youth Assistance Program. The representative from Meals from the Heartland was Georgie Filber.
“I’m also extremely thankful that we have so many local businesses that were willing to sponsor the event so the students could participate in this wonderful opportunity of charity,” said Principal Adam Beckel.
Groups of eight to ten students were placed at a station, forming an assembly line to package meals. There were thirty-six meals per box, and each station packaged meals for ten boxes.
“Our Student Council, and really the whole student body, put forth a great effort in making the Meals from the Heartland event such a success,” said Student Council adviser Dak Rasmussen.
The Student Council arrived earlier that day to help set up for the packaging. They put down tables and filled up buckets of rice and soy. After the packaging, council members and student volunteers also helped tear down both gyms.
“I was absolutely in awe watching our students set up, package, tear down, and clean up this event,” said Beckel. “I am so very proud of the work our student body did and the impact it will have on others in need.”