One Rosemount meets goal to feed manyCommunity came together to pack meals Saturday, but group still needs donations to complete the effort
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
Hair nets, rice and loud music don’t usually have much in common, but on Saturday the combo contributed to something extraordinary.
One Rosemount Feeding Families succeeded in packing 285,120 meals for Haitian refugees living in the Dominican Republic. The group also collected 3,000 pounds of food for area food shelves, well on its way to a goal of 10,000 pounds by the end of March. March is Minnesota Food Share Month.
“We had a great time and a great turnout,” said Bill Goodwin, the co-chair of the communitywide event.
More than 1,200 Rosemount residents volunteered to pack meals for ImpactLives, a nonprofit organization. The effort was so large that the event used the cafeteria at Rosemount Elementary School and the gymnasium at Rosemount Middle School to accommodate all the volunteers. Goodwin said it was amazing to see people from throughout the community gather to do something purposeful.
Volunteers ranged from kindergarteners to seniors in the community. Many came out as part of community organizations, including the Rosemount fire and police departments, several groups from Dakota County Technical College, Boys Scout and Girl Scout troops, athletic teams, businesses and more.
“It was nice to see the different organizations come out,” said Goodwin.
360 Communities volunteer coordinator Shira Rabinowicz was thrilled to see so many people out to combat hunger in the community.
“It’s been really a great event,” said Rabinowicz.
District 57 B State Representative Anna Wills, who volunteered at the event, applauded Rosemount’s effort to address a worthy cause.
“It gives them a leg up to get to a better place in life,” said Wills of the effort.
Each group heard from a representative of ImpactLives. Ramon Pastrano spoke at the middle school about the hunger facing millions around the world and how the organization aims to transform communities one life at a time.
Pastrano said his organization provides education and medical attention as well as food to help people change their own conditions. He said preparing and teaching self-sufficiency is the ultimate goal of his organization.
“We want to make sure your effort counts,” said Pastrano.
While most of the 1,200-plus volunteers will never see the people they helped, Pastrano assured the audience their efforts would impact the lives in a real and purposeful way.
As a child, Pastrano was helped by a similar organization. He said that aid made all the difference. Pastrano recently finished his PhD.
“What you did here today, unbeknown to you, will help someone out there like me,” said Pastrano.
The challenge left for organizers is raising the required money for the project. To pay for and ship the food, One Rosemount needs to raise $71,000. So far One Rosemount has raised about $30,000 towards that goal.
“We still need to raise a considerable amount of money,” said Goodwin.
The meals cost .25 a piece. That includes the cost of the raw materials, packaging and shipping. A $54 donation feeds a family of six one meal a day for a month.
Goodwin said people have been generous and he hopes more will come through in the days and weeks ahead.
To donate or for more information about One Rosemount Feeding Families visit www.onerosemountfeedingfamilies.com. Checks also can be mailed to ImpactLives, 6985 Oxford St., St. Louis Park, MN 55426.