Each month, employees at ARC take a day away from our desks to reflect on our company’s values, vision, and how to best work together as a team. This can mean discussions around upcoming product launches, what to name our future products (my favorite brainstorming sessions), simple activities like cleaning the lab, or lab safety training. Usually there’s also an off-site team-building component involved; in the past, this has included aerial yoga, escape rooms (we’re 2/2 for escaping), axe throwing, and ping pong competitions. This month, ARC volunteered for Feed My Starving Children (FMSC).

FMSC was founded in 1987 and is a non-profit whose mission is to end child hunger around the globe. They’re funded through donations, and this funding is used to purchase the meal ingredients. Volunteers then go to their various facilities to pack the meals which are specifically formulated for malnourished children. The final step is their partnerships with organizations and ministries around the globe who they work with to distribute the meals to communities in need. Since 2009, FMSC has sent food to 102 countries and they have a goal of packing 370 million meals this year alone. During ARC’s packing session, we packed for Hope for Haiti.

The meals that we packed consisted of a vitamin-packed flavoring, dried vegetables, soy protein, and rice. They had packing stations set up where the ingredients would be measured out and the bags would be filled, a weighing step for consistency, a sealing step, and finally packing the bags into boxes. ARC split up into two teams to try and pack as many boxes as possible – with some competition thrown in! By the end of our session, the whole group (around 90 people) had some impressive statistics:

While we barely made a dent in the 370 million meals that FMSC hopes to pack this year, ARC was able to give back while team-building and having a good time. As Thanksgiving approaches, we’re constantly reminded of what we have to be thankful for that others around the world might not. This year, I’m thankful to be working for a company that encourages passion and volunteering for a good cause.