We have worked with the Manna Food Project for the last four years; the summer of 2008 was the first time that TLC and Manna crossed paths. Since that time, the young people who have been a part of the TLC program have done some amazing work for the project. We have painted, sorted food, helped those needing food with their shopping, pulled weeds, and anything else that Gabby needed us to do. In turn, the young people who have been a part of TLC have been amazingly blessed by Gabby and the entire Manna family.
Today was our Manna work day.
Our main task at Manna today was something that we had never done before; we were charged with repackaging kidney beans. Gabby told us that the Campbell’s Soup Company donated a pallet – yes a pallet – of beans to Feeding America, an organization with which Manna is now a part. In order to redistribute the beans to other pantries, the beans had to be packaged into 1.5 pound servings.
Gabby told us before we started that it was an 800 pound pallet and that it would probably take a few days to get through. As we began, we could understand why! The beans were frozen together into a nearly solid ice sheet and needed to be chiseled apart as well as repackaged. Once we started working, we assessed how long we thought it might take and what our goal should be. The group decided that if they could finish half the box then it would have been a success. After a while, some crazy things started to happen:
(This was while they were waiting for more labels to be printed for the bags!)
Immediately after using the beans like a waterfall, and somewhere around singing “Jumper” the teens said, “Let’s make an advertisement!” And then they shouted, “We love beans!”
TLC is about the spirit that these young people are showing. It is about working hard for a cause bigger than yourself all while making yourself the best Christian leader you can be.
Oh, those beans? They packaged them all – but at last count there were over 42 boxes of beans that each had 25 bags and each bag weighed 1.5 pounds. For those that aren’t near a calculator, that’s nearly 1,600 pounds of beans. Over three-quarters of a ton. Enough to provide 3,200 meals worth of protein.
This is why we love TLC.