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Dow, Students feed the funnel

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

 

Just add water.

Dow Sabine River Operations employees and West Orange-Stark High School (WOSHS) students partnered for Feed the Funnel on Monday at WOSHS gymnasium where they packed 40,000 balanced meals for those in need in Orange County.

Feed the Funnel is an event hosted by The Pack Shack, a nonprofit that hosts food packing parties where participants work together to package nutritious meals for local communities. One hundred people participated in the Dow-WOSHS event.

The meals, measured as they are packed, are designed to just add hot water on the stovetop or in the microwave to create a balanced meal for a family of four.

The Pack Shack website reads:

The negative health effects of food insecurity disproportionately affect our neighbors living at lower income levels, often resulting in undernutrition and increased rates of chronic disease and obesity.

We’re working to ensure that our neighbors have food that will nourish and strengthen them. We create delicious, nutritious meals that are easy to prepare, accessible, and affordable.

We’re grateful for the expert culinary, nutrition, and regulatory assistance of Tyson Foods in developing our meals. Every one of our delicious recipes provides at least 10 grams of protein per serving and includes 19 essential vitamins and minerals.

It was giving back to the community which brought 100 people from Dow, the high school students, and United Way together to pack the meals. Originally, the plan was to pack 20,000, however, the volunteers strived for and reached the 40,000 mark.

“The meals will stay in the community,” Christina Babcock, with Dow, said. “They will stay with this school district, LC-M district and the Vidor Backpack Program.”

Dow has participated in the Feed the Funnel before at other sites but for DOW Sabine River Operations Site Director Jean Algate, it was her first time.

“I love seeing the kids involved with Dow,” Algate said. “They are our future. We are able to listen to them and hear what is on their minds.”

Algate added the program would return next year if there was a need for it.

“If it is the biggest need next year,” Algate said. “We are focused on the community.”

Principal Hollyfield was excited about the event on Monday.

“I had never heard of it,” Hollyfield said. “The kids are dancing and excited.”

Nia Lewis, a student at West Orange-Stark High School enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the event.

“Today was an amazing day!,” Lewis said. “It means so much to me to see everyone dedicating their time to accomplish the goal of 40,000 meals because that means 40,000 mouths are getting fed. God is good!”