By: Bill O’Connell
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
A group of approximately forty volunteers, ranging from elementary school students to retirees, assembled at the Detwiler Manor on Shoop Ave in Wauseon this past rainy Saturday morning to package 5,000 bags of apple-cinnamon oatmeal which will yield 30,000 meals for Fulton County Schools Food pantries.
The volunteers donned hair nets, plastic gloves and full-body aprons and were organized into an assembly line style operation to package the food as quickly and easily as possible.
“This is the first Day of Caring Food Packaging Event that we have done,” explained Gina Saaf, Executive Director of the United Way of Fulton County. “We’re hoping to make it an annual event and we’re just trying to get a healthy nutritious meal out there and available to Fulton County children that may be going hungry.”
Ms. Saaf said it is unclear how long the food will last once it is distributed to the each of the seven school districts in Fulton County. “Every school district in Fulton County has some sort of a food pantry or a weekend backpack food subsidy program so depending on how many students are taking that home it will vary on how long it will last them,” she said. “It will definitely provide some weekend breakfasts for those students.”
Although the United Way is a national organization every county United Way is independently run and all donations and services stay within that particular county. “We have our own board of directors and all decisions are made by local people,” said Ms. Saaf, a 17-year employee of the organization. “Everything we do is for Fulton County.
All of the food we are packaging today will stay in Fulton County.”
The offices of the United Way of Fulton County are located at 604 S. Shoop Ave and they can be reached at 419-337-9606.
Bill O’Connell may be reached at