Packing Meals from the Heartland on campus



There will be a food packaging event from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Commons Slife Ballroom tomorrow.


Meals from the Heartland will be hosting a food packaging event from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, in the Commons Slife Ballroom.

The food pack, organized by the Office of Community Engagement, is sponsored by National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH), National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) and UNI Residence Hall Association (RHA).

Meals will be distributed to those with food insecurity in 16 counties across northeast Iowa through the Northeast Iowa Food Bank’s mobile food pantry program.

“Within the Department of Residence, we are really passionate about making sure everyone in our community is living the best life that they can, and any way we can help with that is what we want to do,” said Glenna Whiteman, a senior social science education major on the team planning the event.

This is the Office of Community Engagement’s second year partnering with Meals from the Heartland.

“This year we wanted to do an even more extended version, so we upped the meals from 20,000 to 30,000,” said senior communication major Paige Cowing, also involved in the event-planning.

To reach the goal of 30,000, volunteers will be grouped into teams, each forming an assembly line. The event will feature educational videos and speeches, as well as free pizza and meal-packing challenges to boost morale.

“I’m most looking forward to just the hype and the energy that will be there,” said event-planner and junior math education major Cameron Amos. “Just the excitement everyone will have to know that they’re making an impact on other people’s lives in the Cedar Valley community and in northeast Iowa.”

“I’m also looking forward to seeing the different cross-sections of people across campus, from professors and families to Greek life, to Department of Residence residents coming and doing this awesome cause together,” Whiteman said.

“The cooperation with the meal-packaging program and working as a team to do the assembly line not only helps serve others but also helps grow their collaboration skills and communication skills,” Amos said. “So [students] can look at it as both a service opportunity and a learning opportunity to further develop their own leadership skills.”

Those interested in volunteering can RSVP by Monday, March 26 through Eventbrite or by emailing [email protected]

For those who are unable to attend the food pack but still wish to contribute, Meals from the Heartland takes donations and volunteer sign-ups through their website.Whiteman also mentioned Cedar Falls food pantries — including one located at the Lutheran Student Center — that accept donations specifically for food-insecure UNI students.