On November 14, 2018, 6 employees of H-E Parts Dom-Ex* (located in the United States in Minnesota) participated in UWNEMN’s Buddy Backpack program.
UWNEMN(United Way of Northeastern Minnesota)’s Buddy Backpack program provides a backpack filled with nutritious, nonperishable, child-friendly food items to children who are at-risk of going hungry over the weekends due to various reasons. In today’s world more than 13 million children face hunger in the U.S. This program is designed to assist children that are facing hunger on our Iron Range. Buddy Backpacks is helping to fight weekend hunger by providing food kits to 925 children each Friday or holiday break from school. This activity greatly impacts the mental and physical health and well-being of our local children.
The United Way warehouse is fully stocked with nutritious non-perishable food including cereal, snack bars, juices, milk, trail mix and fruit snacks. Several of these cases of food are donated or offered at a discount from vendors.
Every week, there are 5-6 stations of tables set up, equipped with a case of each of these items and a team of approximately 12-15 assemblers. Each team member has a role in the assembly, from bag openers, to bag fillers, to box fillers and those who run to keep all of the items available for the fillers. It is an assembly line … and a competition to see which station can get their allotment of bags done the fastest. Our station filled 22 boxes of 10 bags per box – 220 bags in less than an hour. In total, 1,760 bags were filled in that single
hour. Not only a wonderful way to spend an hour, but a fun way to interact with strangers, friends, family and coworkers as a team to provide something so valuable for our children.
Children benefit greatly from receiving this program and have shown progress in the learning ability, attentions span and less behavioral concerns at school. The program provides nourishment for food-insecure children so that they can come back to school on Monday mornings ready to learn, grow and thrive. UWNEMN packs 30,000 bags each year.
This activity was so much fun and so energizing to those who participated, we would like to commit to this activity on a monthly basis.
＊Dom-Ex: The name was designed to signify that we can provide parts and components both domestically and export them around the world.