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Tender Mercies machine run by volunteers

There's a big machine in the Morton warehouse of Midwest Food Bank that produces nutritious meals - 10 million servings since 2013, to be exact. But it's the people around the machine that make it all happen.

The machine packages Tender Mercies - a low-cost (20 cents per serving) and highly nutritious meal that includes rice, beans, protein, seasoning, vitamins, and minerals. Tender Mercies is one of the ways MFB fulfills its mission of alleviating hunger and malnutrition locally and throughout the world.

"It takes a crew of volunteers to operate, maintain and clean the machine," says Lisa Martin, Executive Director of MFB Morton. "This dedicated team of volunteers has learned the machine and they are the equivalent to a full-time shift every week."

Recently, those volunteers met with the machine representative who originally set up the machine. Mark, now retired, lives in another state. Because of his belief in the value of Tender Mercies, he came to Morton to meet with volunteers, donating his time and expertise to provide insight and training to MFB volunteers.

In addition to the 10 million servings of Tender Mercies since 2013, 1.5 million pounds of bulk rice and beans have been packaged in that same timeframe. To learn more about joining the volunteer machine crew in Morton, call 309-291-0900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

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Tuesday, 16 August 2022