Packing Food at Resala

I got a phone call from Resala Nasr City today asking me to come by to help them in packing food for distribution on poor families. I went there and found a group of volunteers busy with packing food bags. I helped out till half an hour before Iftar then went home to have my Iftar.

It was the first time for me to join in the food packing activity at Resala. It turned out to be very interesting. There are several stages that take place before the bags are ready for distribution on poor families.

Macaroni Bags

Volunteers first cut open large bags full of macaroni. Then they start packing small plastic bags with macaroni trying to put around 1 Kg of macaroni in each plastic bag. Then those bags are passed to other volunteers who weigh them to make sure they are exactly 1 Kg. If they find the weigh to be more or less than 1 Kg they put more macaroni in the plastic bag or take from it to get the weight right. Then other volunteers close the the plastic bags by tying them. Finally the plastic bags are handed over and piled next to one another and on top of each others on shelves or at one corner of the room.

Balance

The same process of unpacking large containers, filling small plastic bags, weighing them, then tying them closed and finally piling them up is repeated for food stuff other than macaroni as well such as rice for instance. When such process is complete for all the food stuff, another process starts to pack a larger plastic bag containing different food stuff for each poor family.

One volunteer stands at each pile of food stuff in the room. Then a group of volunteers start taking large empty plastic bags and walk in a circle passing by the other volunteers who are standing beside the different piles of food stuff. As the walking volunteer passes by the macaroni bags pile, the volunteer standing at that pile puts two macaroni plastic bags in the large bag. As the moving volunteer walks around and passes by the volunteer standing at the rice bags pile, that volunteer puts him three plastic bags full of rice and so on. By the time the a moving volunteer reaches the end of the circle, his large bag would contain seven items: macaroni, rice, sugar, dates, oil, lentils and beans.

The final step is to count those large bags to see how many we have managed to pack at the end of that day. The bags are now ready to be distributed on the poor families. Some volunteers then start taking the food bags and distribute them on preselected poor families.

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