Coyotes Staff Packs Thousands of Meals For Local Nonprofit Organization


The Pack got to packing.

Meals, that is.

Arizona Coyotes staff volunteered at Feed My Starving Children on Tuesday, a national nonprofit organization with multiple packing sites throughout the country. The event was held at the charity’s Mesa location, where community volunteers, including 70 Coyotes staff members, packed 108 boxes containing over 23,000 meals — three full pallets of food — that will be distributed to malnourished and starving children across the globe.

The task was simple, as the volunteers split up into groups and packed meals for roughly two hours, working together towards a global cause.

The impact, on the other hand, was immense.

“Today was an incredible day because it was a chance to be part of this effort to feed children around the world with this incredible organization of Feed My Starving Children,” said Coyotes President and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez. “They’re so inspiring, and for us to be here and make a difference was wonderful. On top of that, it was a great opportunity for us to come together as an organization.”

The latest shipment of meals was sent to needy children in Guatemala, however, Feed My Starving Children distributes its food packs to nearly every part of the world. According to its Web site, food is sent to 39 countries in Africa, 16 in Asia, 14 in the Caribbean, 10 in Europe, 10 in the Middle East, 10 in North and Central America, and eight in South America.

Sabra Mraz, Development Advisor for Feed My Starving Children, has witnessed the devastation caused by starvation firsthand in many of the countries that the nonprofit supports. She said the organization is always looking for additional volunteers and donors to help its cause.

“I have been to other countries where I’ve held the children that weigh 14 pounds instead of 50 pounds,” Mraz said. “I think that makes such an impression on your heart when you see it. We get to truly impact lives, make a difference, and keep children alive.”

Mraz said the Mesa facility is the top facility nationwide in terms of volunteers and packing meals, but those efforts alone are only part of the battle. The charity also needs donations to effectively function, as the food that is packed is purchased with those funds.

Efforts have taken a hit since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Feed My Starving Children is still feeling the impact of that as they are still operating at half capacity. 125 volunteers are allowed to pack per session, which is down from roughly 300 in the pre-pandemic days.

Anyone interested in volunteering or donating can learn more about the organization’s website. Though groups often use it as a way to give back to the community while engaging in team building activities, individuals are welcome to attend, as well.

“Never be afraid to come by yourself,” Mraz said. “It’s such an uplifting, fun experience, it doesn’t matter if you’re coming with a group, or if you’re coming on your own. You’re going to have fun, but more so, you’re helping people in the process. It is an uplifting experience, but at the same time, you’re saving lives.”

For the Coyotes, the opportunity was a rewarding experience, both for the individuals who participated as well as collectively as a group. Tuesday’s community service event highlighted the organization’s commitment to give back.

Tweet from @ArizonaCoyotes: Our team spent the morning packing meals with @fmsc_org. Together, we packed 108 boxes which will provide 23,328 meals to children in need. 👏 #CoyotesCare pic.twitter.com/A2Brv1lL6C

“I think what it shows is that it’s not just us directing people to these things, but it’s truly part of who we are and what we value as a group,” Gutierrez said. “You’re talking about a group that embraces these moments to make a difference, that enjoys being around each other, that is full of joy, hope, and happiness, and knows that truly we can make a difference.”

In terms of donations, the breakdown is pretty simple: a single meal costs about 24 cents, and 88 dollars feeds a child for an entire year. Feed My Starving Children has multiple ways to contribute, whether it’s through a one-time donation, or a subscription to contribute a recurring amount each month.

Either way it’s boiled down, the organization is grateful for the help as it continues to provide a critical service to the most needy children across the globe.

“You’re providing hope for these children in countries that might get one meal today, and we really appreciate the Coyotes coming in and volunteering their time,” Mraz said. “We’re grateful for Arizona and their giving hearts in that process.”

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