Clapping and cheers erupted from the middle of the gym. Another assembly line had completed another box of mac-n-cheese packs. Another table wasn’t far behind. Their assembly line of ten people completed a box—192 individual packets—with high-fives and cheers. Then they immediately started another box. The boxes were stacking up against the opposite wall, coming from ten assembly lines, and it was only 10:30am. By the end of the day, there were 45,000 meals in more than 220 boxes.
At Saturday’s joint event with KIN and Operation InAsMuch, almost 300 volunteers converged on West Lonsdale Baptist Church’s gym in three shifts. There were hugs from people who hadn’t seen each other in ages and handshakes from people who were meeting for the first time. There were quick conversations in other languages and sometimes straining ears to understand each other’s English. But we didn’t need much conversation. We were all there for the same reason: to bless low-income families in Knoxville.
During the school year, children from low-income families receive breakfast and lunch every weekday at school, but during the summer these families may struggle to stretch their food budgets across all those additional meals. As a result, children are undernourished. Ten of KIN's community partners, such as the Center for English and Assimilation, will distribute these easy-to-prepare, highly nutritious breakfast and lunch options to families in need throughout the summer.
**Special thanks to Northstar Church, First Baptist Concord, and First Baptist Knoxville, who donated 10,000 meals each, plus the many individual donors who sponsored the other 15,000 meals, plus West Lonsdale for providing the space! **
Read the stories of Knoxville's local internationals and the volunteers who have impacted their lives. Get a first-hand view of what it's like to move here and/or to serve those who've moved here from other countries. Discover how KIN has impacted life and culture in metro Knoxville.