A major hunger relief effort will be undertaken by the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and volunteers January 7 when the MCC mobile meat canner arrives in the local area. The unit can process …
A major hunger relief effort will be undertaken by the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and volunteers January 7 when the MCC mobile meat canner arrives in the local area. The unit can process between 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of meat per day, and will be at the Floyd Helmuth residence, three and one-half miles northwest of Kalona. Work will start at 4 p.m. and probably continue to 10 or 11 p.m.
All work is done by volunteers, and both men and women are needed. Anyone wishing to help, for even a few hours, should call 656-3505. Meals will be provided for the volunteer workers.
Costs for the meat, supplies and other fees are estimated to be approximately $15,000. Contributions, tax deductible, to support the project may be sent to Southeast Iowa MCC Meat Canner, c/o Vernon Ropp, treasurer, P. O. Box 447, Kalona, Iowa 52247.
Although the canner, which is mounted on a trailer, was in the area years ago, no one could recall exactly when the last time was.
There are three MCC volunteers who take the canner to 32 locations in 13 states, as well as into Canada. As of August, more than 600,000 pounds of meat were sent to ten countries with North Korea receiving nearly one-third. A year ago, the canner processed 291 tons of meat, and MCC distributes the meat through local church partners and institutions in some 30 countries.
Processing today is different from the old days when the cattle and hogs were slaughtered and butchered at the canning site. At that time, lard was rendered in huge outdoor kettles. Today, meat is purchased already ground. And, all of the meat is federally and state inspected. In fact, a federal meat inspector will be present during the entire operation January 7.
MCC is the relief, service and peace agency of the Mennonite, Amish and Brethren in Christ churches in North America. Since 1920, MCC has provided food for millions of people worldwide “in the name of Christ.” Food has been shared in the wake of war and other emergencies, and in places afflicted with chronic, long-term food shortages. Whenever possible, MCC draws on local food production. At other times, it sends food from North America.
Local committee members are John A. and Marilyn Yoder, Wellman, chairmen, 319-646-2880; Vernon and Mary Elva Ropp, Kalona, treasurers, 319-656-2795, and Ed D. and Mary Jane Miller, Kalona, secretaries, 319-656-3505.