Packaged Meals for Hungry Kids


For some people, finding a meal is as simple as opening the refrigerator. For more than 366,000 hungry kids in New Jersey, it’s not that easy.

That fact didn’t sit well with Jack Zimmerman, who organized a drive to lessen childhood hunger in his state. His goal: create 40,000 packaged meals that could be donated to those in need.

If done wrong, that process could take weeks. So Jack did it right. He created a food-packaging assembly line at his church. He washed the materials. He divided the rice, soy and dried veggies evenly. He taped hundreds of empty boxes ready to be filled.

But he didn’t do all that alone. He taught team leaders to complete each step, and those team leaders taught the steps to their small groups. It was delegation at its finest.

“I’ve had to coordinate things before, but never something to this extent,” Jack says.

On game day, Jack and his volunteers put on hairnets and gloves and started their work. The room buzzed with energy as bags and boxes filled with food. After the final count, the team had packaged 47,124 meals — well above Jack’s goal.

— Jack, Troop 1345, Dumont, N.J.


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