Mercy Meals holds first pack of season, continues quest to pack 2 million meals

| 10/18/2016 |

Members of the Imperial Rotary and Lions Clubs packed meals at Mercy Meals in Wauneta Monday night. Members assembled ingredients during the pack. Pictured here are, clockwise from front left, Larry Radcliffe, Kylee Margritz, Alejandra Almanza (hidden), Dennis Batterman, Laura Gaschler and Merril Humphreys. (Sheri Hink-Wagner | Johnson Publications)
Members of the Imperial Rotary and Lions Clubs packed meals at Mercy Meals in Wauneta Monday night. Members assembled ingredients during the pack. Pictured here are, clockwise from front left, Larry Radcliffe, Kylee Margritz, Alejandra Almanza (hidden), Dennis Batterman, Laura Gaschler and Merril Humphreys. (Sheri Hink-Wagner | Johnson Publications)

By Sheri Hink-Wagner

The Wauneta Breeze

The Mercy Meals house on Wauneta’s main street was hopping with activity Monday night as the organization hosted its first meal pack of the 2016-2017 season.

“Even though it appears to be a small effort, we never know what a big impact it has on hungry children,” explains Pastor Keith Wellman, Mercy Meals of Southwest Nebraska board president. “We are simply following Christ’s instructions to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Mercy Meals of Southwest Nebraska hosted the Imperial Rotary and Lions Clubs for the meal pack.

Six representatives from the two Imperial-based service organizations and Mercy Meals board members packed 26 boxes or 5,694 meals during the event.

“It’s our great privilege to carry on the legacy of Clayton Andrews and give back to our communities, our nation and the world,” said Kylee Margritz. As they packed members discussed their hope that other businesses and service organizations will consider volunteering as well.

Mercy Meals will once again host twice monthly meal packing sessions—one on the second Monday of the month and one on the third Saturday of the month.

The organization is well on its way to packing its second million meals. At the end of the season last May, Mercy Meals volunteers had packed a total of 1,164,360 meals since the organization was formed in 2012.

Last week the organization received it’s first shipment of product used to pack meals, enough to assemble 90,000 meals.

Volunteers are needed this Saturday, Oct. 15 for a special memorial packing in honor of Clayton Andrews, the founder of Orphan Grain Train.

“Clayton Andrews left a legacy of a man helping others and expecting nothing in return,” said Pastor Wellman.

Andrews passed away Sept. 15 at the age of 96—24 years after he founded Orphan Grain Train.

In 1992 Andrews’ pastor returned from a mission trip to Latvia. He told Andrews of the poverty people suffered and asked him for his advice on shipping things to the country.

Andrews owned Andrews Van Lines which shipped goods, general commodities and moved military families worldwide, so he had experience with international shipping.

Within the first year of that conversation the first shipment of clothes and quilts were shipped to Riga, Latvia and Orphan Grain Train was born.

Since its inception Orphan Grain Train has shipped to 65 different countries and 28 states with more than 2,654 full shipments delivered.

Orphan Grain Train ships product to Mercy Meals of Southwest Nebraska and ships the packed meals throughout the world free-of-charge.

For more information about Mercy Meals of Southwest Nebraska, to sign up as a volunteer or to donate visit them online at www.mercymeals ofsouthwestnebraska.org or call Janet Keiser at 308-883-0429 or Mary Haarberg at 308-883-6761.