Empowering the Heartland


If you’ve volunteered at Meals from the Heartland, you’ve probably seen quite a variety of packagers—whether it’s elementary students on a field trip, fraternities giving service hours, professionals off work or retirees out of the house for the afternoon. Maybe you’ve stood across from someone new and learned their unique story.

Every single volunteer who steps through our door contributes to our mission.

Meals from the Heartland is such a special organization because of the people who’ve shaped it. We’re proud to bring together people from all kinds of organizations, interests and backgrounds to form a diverse group of volunteers right here in the Heartland.

The extraordinary thing about Meals from the Heartland is the broad spectrum of age ranges and skill levels who are capable of giving their time. We partner with retirement communities, businesses, colleges, correctional facilities, special education programs, rehab facilities, churches and youth groups, as well as schools, youth programs and more.

We’re proud to provide important, meaningful work for those who may not find it elsewhere. Residents at retirement facilities label food bags, playing a vital role in getting food to those who need it most.  Special education students from area schools help clean and maintain the packaging center—creating a safe space for volunteers to continue packaging meals. Without volunteers contributing their skills where they fit best, Meals from the Heartland would not be what it is today.

“Empowering people to save the starving.”
– Meals from the Heartland mission

One of the most important parts about our mission is empowerment.

Sometimes the hardest part about changing the world is coming to the realization that you can.  We want our volunteers to feel empowered to make a difference, because we are making a real difference on world hunger.

About 793 million people are undernourished globally, down 167 million over the last decade. With the distribution of over 65 million meals in the last 7 years, we’ve had an important impact on those statistics. Even so, our work would be just as important if we were feeding just one child.

Although you may feel pretty removed from world hunger here in the Heartland, it’s important to know you’re making a huge impact when you step into the packaging center.

We hope you have a blast when packaging—jamming to music and chatting with friends— but even more important than that, know that you’re feeding the world. And empowering others to do so, too.