Families in our community are struggling.
The demand on food banks has increased dramatically due to the economic impact of the pandemic. At Something To Eat™, a program of Youthfront, we’re taking calls regularly from our partner food pantries who need our meals.
You can help.
1. Pack meals with us!
Due to the essential nature of food distribution, Something to Eat™ has been able to adjust its packing program to provide meals under the current COVID-19 CDC and food code guidelines. You can assist by packing Something to Eat’s nutritious cheesy rice and vegetables meal for distribution to food pantries in our community.
Those who have been quarantined together in one household – families, couples or individuals – can volunteer for a timeslot to package meals at Youthfront’s Argentine, KCK facility, which has been specifically set up for small group meal packing under the current state guidelines. A Youthfront staff member will maintain social distance to provide instruction, and the packing facility will be fully sanitized between volunteer sessions.
*If you are unable to make a financial donation to support the meals you are packing, but would like to volunteer to help, please click here. As we have donors and sponsors for meals, we’ll invite you to pack as those opportunities become available.
Want to see what a family packing session looks like? Click here for a 1-minute video!
2. Fund meals for families.
Support volunteers by covering the costs of meal packaging. Meals cost approximately .30 each and every dollar makes a difference for those in need. Your gifts will go directly – and quickly – to meet the immediate need in our community.
3. Get Creative!
Host a “Something to Eat Together” virtual dinner party and invite your friends, family, small group, church or business to share a meal together online and support Something to Eat. Download our adult and child placemats and conversation cards to have fun together and learn more about ending food insecurity. It’s an easy and impactful way to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors.
FAQ for Volunteering
Only one household at a time may come pack meals. Youthfront is sanitizing the facility and equipment in between packing sessions, and one staff member will be onsite to provide instruction but will maintain social distance. Youthfront is following the state and CDC guidelines for essential food distribution, and is also following protocols for food safety in this process.
The minimum age to touch food in our packing process is 8 years old. If a child is younger than 8, we welcome their help but they need to be on the part of the line that does not touch food, such as the boxing and labeling sections.
Only those who have been quarantined together in a household during the pandemic can volunteer together. Large families: we are limited to 10 volunteers total. We will ask you to sign a standard release for our meal packing program volunteers and affirm that:
- Everyone in the volunteer group is in your immediate family/quarantine unit. We’re sorry, at this time, mixed families or outside individuals from the family unit are not allowed.
- No one in the volunteer group is knowingly infected or contagious with the COVID-19 virus.
- No one in the volunteer group has knowingly come in direct contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19.
You will pack meals at Youthfront’s facility in Argentine, Kansas City, KS, at 3112 Strong Avenue adjacent to the public library. We have two separate spaces with separate entrances in our facility to safely accommodate a household packing in each. When you register for your timeslot, you’ll receive an email with full instructions and also the contact information for our program staff.
Each packing session, which includes instruction and cleanup, will take between 1-1.5 hours depending on how many boxes you pack, how quickly and how many people are in your party. As an example, a family of four could pack one box of 36 meal bags, which feed 216, in approximately 25-40 minutes; smaller parties may take one hour.
Yes, you must wear a face mask to pack meals and it is required for everyone who will be in the facility. For everyone’s safety, we can not allow you to pack without a face mask so please be sure to bring one with you. Youthfront will provide hairnets, sanitizer and disposable gloves.
We are asking for a minimum donation of $65 to help cover the cost of food in one packed box. If you are not able to donate, we would still welcome your volunteer help here. We are also inviting other donors who can’t volunteer to contribute to help sponsor meals.
Our primary meal is our Cheesy Rice and Vegetables, consisting of rice, vegetables, soy, 20 essential vitamins and nutrients, and cheese. Because it contains staples like rice, it can be enjoyed in a variety of places all over the world as well as locally, and is simple and quick to prepare.
Youthfront partners will local food pantries throughout the metro region to distribute meals. We also have national and global partners, such as Convoy of Hope, who can distribute meals beyond Kansas City. Right now, all our partners are asking for meals and the need is tremendous.
Something to Eat™ was launched by Youthfront nearly a decade ago to give youth and groups an opportunity to serve by feeding the hungry in our community. In that time, youth and other volunteers – schools, churches, businesses – have packed millions of meals for local and global distribution. Something to Eat also offers a curriculum for youth about food insecurity as part of their packing service. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional packing parties for youth are not being held, and instead we’re offering the opportunity for small groups to package by household.