Missionaries spend Thanksgiving preparing 350,000 meals

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Missionaries at the Provo Missionary Training Center preparing to receive instruction to assemble meal kits for their Thanksgiving service project (Lauren Lethbridge).

Missionaries at the Provo Missionary Training Center assembled 350,000 breakfast meal kits in celebration of Thanksgiving Thursday, Nov. 22. 

The missionaries teamed up with Feeding Children Everywhere, a non-profit group that, according to their website, aims to provide healthy meals to those in need. 

Feeding Children Everywhere CEO Dave Green, a recent convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said he felt prompted to reach out to the Church to help the project grow.

Green said the group began working with the Church in 2012 and first partnered with the MTC in 2013 for what became an annual Thanksgiving project.

The kits, assembled by the missionaries, were comprised of various non-perishable breakfast foods including porridge and Rice Krispies. Missionaries helped measure out the ingredients, sealed the bags and marked expiration dates and instructions.

The Utah Food Bank will distribute the kits over the next 90 days to families throughout Utah, director of LDS Charities and General Relief Society first counselor Sharon Eubank said. Eubank has attended the service project for eight years and said she loves to come and participate with the missionaries.

Sister Sharon Eubank helps fill bags with different breakfast ingredients. (Lauren Lethbridge)

Missionaries spent a few hours assembling the kits, after attending a devotional and eating a Thanksgiving meal. Deanie Martino, wife of Missionary Training Center president David Martino, said the service helps the missionaries not feel as homesick.

“It changes their focus. When they start looking outward, they don’t miss home. This is the best experience they will have for a Thanksgiving, and they’ll remember it always,” Martino said.

Martino’s family also participated in the service, alongside the missionaries.

“It’s so awesome and really humbling to know we are helping families just like we will be on our missions. I think it’s really important to do service all over and not just on your mission but in general,” Emily Allen, a missionary called to the Italy Rome mission, said.

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