Posted by / Thursday, May 8, 2014 / No comments / , , , , ,

Volunteering for Snack Packs for Kids-2014

Volunteering at Snack Packs for Kids at the Samaritan Community Center

About Snack Packs for Kids
I was seeking another volunteer program that I was passionate about, but also one that my whole family could get involved in as well. When I discovered The Snack Packs for Kids Program through the Samaritan Community Center I was blown away by the statistically sad truth that in our area, over 42,000 public school students are at risk for hunger or food insecurity on the weekends. Enter-- Snack Packs for Kids which provides a weekly sack full of 8-10 simple-to-make healthy snacks such as pudding cups, cheese crackers, granola bars, Ramen noodles, fruit chews, fruit cups, and instant oatmeal packets, to over 6,500 children during the school year. What's even more amazing is that this organization is entirely funded by donations! I was immediately drawn to their cause, and I signed us up for their snack pack assembly.

My first time volunteering
My husband and I went to our first snack pack assembly in May 2014. We had signed up through email and were told by an intern that these volunteer spots fill up fast which I thought was fantastic! I was already glad to know that so many others had a passion for what this program was doing for the community and I was very excited to get involved as well. 

We arrived right on time and it was already buzzing with action. We saw huge pallets of a variety of foods and after introducing ourselves we were immediately set onto the task of disassembling the mandarin oranges pallet. Other volunteers were either doing the same for the other snacks, pulling the Walmart bags apart (which are used as the snack packs themselves), or starting the assembly line for stuffing the snack packs. 

We accomplished 1 and a half pallets during our visit. Basically, you work as fast as you can to unpack and load large bins with your item so it can be taken over to the assembly line where lots of people are working in a fast paced blur walking around and around stuffing bag after bag with 1 of each item. Because they are going so fast, you have to keep them stocked with your item so there really isn't time for too much socializing. That being said, everyone was really friendly and in particular we talked with a really nice woman and her middle school aged daughter for a bit while they helped at our mandarin orange station! 

Volunteering at Snack Packs for Kids at the Samaritan Community Center

Volunteering at Snack Packs for Kids at the Samaritan Community Center

Actually, there were lots of kids there---even little kids! The coolest part about it, was that even the youngest kids there were hard at work and having so much fun! They were disassembling snacks, teaming up to carry bins to the assembly line, and jumping in the recycling bins to smash the boxes. As hard and as quickly as people are working there, it really is a family friendly volunteer program! I can't wait to bring my oldest with me next time.  

Volunteering at Snack Packs for Kids at the Samaritan Community Center

Volunteering at Snack Packs for Kids at the Samaritan Community Center

I cannot sing enough praises for this program! I urge anyone who is interested in volunteering for the community, has a passion for helping children, and can offer up 1 day a month for a great cause, to sign up for the Snack Pack Assembly! If you simply don't have the time, you can help in other ways too! 

Click HERE to learn more about volunteering your time or donating to Snack Packs for Kids at the Samaritan Community Center in Rogers, AR.  

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1211 West Hudson Road, Rogers, Arkansas

To learn more about other volunteer opportunities in the Northwest Arkansas area, click HERE!


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