Engaging the Community to Feed More

From hosting donors at fundraising events, to helping to coordinate food drives with local organizations, or working with our more than 1,000 volunteers, nothing is more rewarding for those of us at Nourish than engaging community members in our mission of feeding our neighbors in need. That is why we are so excited to announce the launch of a new hands-on service project hosting area corporations, businesses and community groups participating in meal packaging events. Nourish has partnered with The Outreach Program to work with corporate and community volunteer groups to assemble dried non-perishable meals which are then distributed throughout our 26 food bank locations.

Sound Credit Union staff participate in a meal packaging event.

Based in Iowa, The Outreach Program is a nonprofit corporation which partners with organizations throughout the United States to host food packaging events. Meal packaging events engage people to give back to their community. Volunteers work together in an assembly line to create protein enriched meals such as pasta with tomato-basil sauce or Minestrone soup.

By partnering with The Outreach Program, Nourish has the opportunity to involve local organizations to join our mission to provide nutritious food for people in need in Pierce County. “The Outreach Program is a great way to engage volunteers in our work and to educate the community about food insecurity in our county,” explained Sue Potter, Executive Director, Nourish Pierce County.

The pre-packaged, dry food is an excellent option for Nourish food banks. Many of our customers walk or take the bus to the food bank. Because of the way The Outreach Program meals are packaged, they are easy to carry and transport regardless of age or physical ability. Additionally, because our mobile food banks serve five community and technical colleges in the area, many of these students have classes till late in the evening. Offering them frozen foods is not always an option if they can’t keep it refrigerated. The Outreach Program meals offer a great, delicious, shelf stable alternative. These meals are also easy to prepare.

“At our food banks, 32% of the people we serve are kids 18 and under. The Outreach Program meals can be made with just hot water, so if a child is old enough to boil water or use a microwave, they can eat.” – Sue Potter, Executive Director, Nourish Pierce County.

Sound Credit Union is a wonderful example of a local organization committed to giving back to the community. Making the most of a recent federal holiday when their branches are closed, a group of approximately 40 employees spent the afternoon at the Nourish warehouse packaging 1,500 meals.

“We had fun with it since we are a competitive group,” explained Jen Reed, VP Public Relations. “Each line of employees packing meals tried to keep up with the other, looking at ways we could be more efficient. It was a fun competition, connecting with one another while serving the community.”

Prior to volunteering at the Nourish warehouse, the group held a food drive, collecting more than 1,300 pounds of food. “We all really enjoyed it. I’m hearing back from the staff that they want to find more ways to engage in volunteer opportunities.“ said Reed.

Nourish asks for donations to offset the cost of materials needed for these meals. All packing events take place at the Nourish Warehouse and are hosted by awesome and energetic Nourish staff members.
To schedule a Meal Packaging Event, call us at