United Way leadership was sitting around the board room at the start of the year looking for something different to do to serve the community.
"This idea came up and everybody thought it would be a great way to come along side people across the community, a great way to get to know others while providing something for people who really need it," said Kelsey Scoggins Mitchell.
United Way Executive Director Rich Lampkin said the project will be a good way to get the United Way back before the people of Rome and Floyd County.
"We'll be getting volunteers active and hopefully help regenerate some interest in the United Way and get us fired up," Lampkin said. After the event Saturday, United Way leadership will start distributing material to companies across the community to get the fall fundraising campaign underway.
Lampkin said the food is being shipped to Rome from a company in Florida that Mitchell had a prior relationship with.
"It's going to be like an assembly line of people who get together in groups of ten and they pack a dry-packaged meal and it's sealed with an expiration date," said Lampkin. "All of the meals are going to stay here in Floyd County. They will go to different local agencies in Floyd County," Mitchell said.
Some of the meals will be distributed through United Way agencies, but others who may not necessarily be affiliated with the United Way can also participate. Any agency that may not have been contacted is encouraged to contact Mitchell through the United Way office. None of the pre-packaged meals will be distributed directly to families.
The volunteers will be packing two different meals, one featuring macaroni and cheese, the other a tomato and pasta dish. Mitchell said the plan is to change the meals each year going forward.
"It's a dry meal so it should last longer," she said. Lampkin said the meal meets Food and Drug Administration nutrition requirements. Since it is dry-packaged, all the recipient has to do is remove the pouch and drop it into boiling water per the instructions to cook.
Volunteers will be packing the food at the fairground Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the fairground.