Marco Island Meals of Hope recently confirmed it will hold its annual packaging event on Saturday, November 21st, from 9:30 AM to noon. This year’s event will be outdoors. Chairman Bill “Captain Happy Hope” Morris explained, “To maximize safety for all of our volunteers, we will hold the event at Veterans Park or the YMCA Airnasium. All Event Party Rental is providing tents and tables so we can hold the event outdoors with lots of fresh air. Kevin Fitzgerald is providing music as he has done for years. Now, all we have to worry about is getting volunteers.”
Staging for the packaging event will keep stations 8 feet apart and volunteers separated, unless they are part of a family or similar. This new set up is all courtesy of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The pandemic has not only increased the need for meals packaged by the group, but has also reduced the number of packaging events. Morris stated, “We will not be able to package the number of meals we have done in the past, but these meals are needed more than ever and we will do as many as we can with the revised staging and volunteer participation.”
All volunteers will be required to wear masks and food preparation gloves. Masks will be provided on–site. As in the past, everyone with hair will either wear a hair net provided by Meals of Hope or a suitable hat.
Meals of Hope has not been able to conduct its usual fundraisers, so donations are needed. More importantly at this point, as Morris aptly put it, “we need volunteers.”
We have to get our volunteers lined up so we know how to stage the event since we will not be inside this year. We need to know how many tents, tables and equipment will be needed at the site to match the number of volunteers.
Because the event is outside this year, set up cannot be the day before as in past years. Moisture is the problem, as the dew falls even under tents. Set up volunteers will be on–site early to put out the materials for packaging. That means the packaging event will not start until 9:30 AM. “In previous years, we could put out food and packaging materials at each station on Friday so we were ready to go early Saturday morning,” stated Morris. “We will have to put material out early Saturday this year.”
Volunteers will be the key. To sign up or for more information, please go to www.mohmi.org or contact Bill “Captain Happy Hope” Morris at 239-642-6020.