Fourteen conference office staff members joined hundreds of other volunteers Thursday in downtown Des Moines for Meals from the Heartland’s 11th annual Hunger Fight.

Meals from the Heartland is a nonprofit organization in West Des Moines dedicated to feeding the hungry in Iowa, the United States and around the world. Since 2008 they have provided over 100 million meals to people in need. During this year’s Hunger Fight, which started Tuesday and ends Saturday, countless volunteers from area businesses, schools, churches, community organizations and individuals will package millions of meals.

In just two hours, conference volunteers packaged 1,800 Hearty Packs, a meal containing rice, soy protein, vitamins, minerals and vegetables. Those packages will provide 10,800 servings of prepared food. It was the first year the conference office has participated in this event, but they plan to take part every year going forward.

Conference volunteers each do their part to assemble, package and box a Hearty Pack. (Photo: Randy Harmdierks)

“Meals from the Heartland is doing an incredible work,” said conference president Dean Coridan. “I was really impressed with how organized this event is. It’s amazing to see so much work accomplished in such a short amount of time.”

In addition to the satisfaction that comes from taking part in meeting others’ needs, participating in this event also provided the conference with opportunities to build relationships with other organizations in the community and to build stronger bonds between colleagues within the office. “I really enjoyed the fellowship, having fun and laughing together as we engaged in a little healthy competition of trying to beat the other teams for the highest number of packages,” said Robert Wagley, executive secretary. “It’s a great way to bring communities and people together in doing the very thing Jesus asked us to do: serve and feed the hungry.”

To learn more about Meals from the Heartland, visit To see more photos, visit