BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - More than 250 BlueCross BlueShield employee volunteers (“Team Blue”) packed around 40,000 meals for capital area residents facing food insecurity on MLK Day.
The event is part of the national MLK Day of Service, a “day on” for millions of Americans who spend the holiday making a difference for their communities.
With the music pumping and just about everyone moving and grooving to the beat, those volunteers were busy packing up the meals, including rice, vegetables, and more.
Michael Manning, CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, calls the effort life-changing.
“It’ll be a complete meal,” said Manning. “They’ll seal and it’ll be ready for a family to take and use and cook and have a fresh meal on the table.”
It’s called a food packing party. The partnership between the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana might look like a lot of fun, but the best ingredient behind the hard work is the impact it will have on food insecure families in the capital city.
Michael Tipton, head of community relations for the company, says it’s a great way for their entire group and their loved ones to give back in a meaningful way.
“This is our way to make sure that people have a healthy meal on the table and give back on this day of service,” said Tipton.
Kathy Victorian is one of the volunteers who helped make it all possible. She and her coworkers, plus their families and friends, boxed up 40,000 meals and plan to tackle 100,000 across the state in the next few days. She says their team and the fun environment make it easy.
“When we come together as individuals volunteering for the better good of the community, the end result is nothing but spectacular,” said Victorian. “It’s a party with a serious purpose and we’re excited to be here. We’re having fun while doing some solid work in the community.”
It’s a special kind of commitment with a huge helping of love on a day that’s dedicated to serving others.
“That’s really what it’s all about,” said Manning. “It’s all about service and honoring Dr. King in the best way we can by making a difference in others’ lives.”
A second day will be held Tuesday, Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana Corporate Headquarters, located at 5525 Reitz Ave. It’s expected about another 40,000 meals will be packed.