Food-packing event returns after one-year breakImpactLives coming to Corn Palace in April.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
After a one-year hiatus, Mitchell will again host a massive food-packing event at the Corn Palace.
ImpactLives events were staged from 2009 to 2011 in Mitchell, but not in 2012. The event will make its return April 27.
Organizer Deb Weitala, a ministry assistant at Mitchell’s Northridge Baptist Church, said the three prior ImpactLives events packed a cumulative total of more than 1 million meals.
A break was needed last year, she said, to give backers time to catch up on the fundraising required to sponsor the event. Weitala said the fundraising has begun for this year’s packing event, but more cash will be needed soon.
So far, $14,000 of the needed $71,500 has been raised. “We need everyone’s help,” Weitala said. The event’s goal is to package 286,000 meals this year — enough food to fill an entire shipping container — during four, two-hour shifts on the Corn Palace floor.
Previously packed meals have gone to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Sudan, Nigeria, the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota and the Salvation Army.
This year, the event will present organizers with an extra challenge, Weitala said. Setup is usually done the night before, but because of an event at the Corn Palace that night, organizers will run a special 6 to 8 a.m. setup shift. Volunteers are needed for the set-up shift and each of the four packing shifts.
ImpactLives is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization that combines leadership training, education and service learning experiences with social and humanitarian works.