Food For The Poor's Join The Pack 'Touches Hearts': Annual Food-Packing Event Raises Funds to Build Homes in Guatemala

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (May 22, 2019)  More than 35 teams representing South Florida businesses, churches and community groups are raising money to build nine homes for families in desperate need of safe shelter in Guatemala.

That's on top of their pledge to pack 150,000 lifesaving meals at Food For The Poor's Join The Pack.

The community food-packing event, held in partnership with Feed My Starving Children, will be Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1, at Florida Atlantic University's Student Union Building in Boca Raton.

For many participants, Join The Pack is the perfect opportunity to do something hands-on locally that impacts the lives of destitute families thousands of miles away.

"It is a great event that Hammock Street Church has really embraced as an outreach ministry," said Tom Abblett, an elder in the Boca Raton church that is returning to Join The Pack for the third straight year.

"Everybody comes away with such a sense that we're doing God's work. We're helping people who cannot help themselves. We're feeding the poor as Jesus instructed," Abblett said. "It touches everybody's hearts."

At Join The Pack, hundreds of volunteers don hairnets and gloves to fill plastic bags with cups of rice and soy, scoops of freeze-dried vegetables and chicken flavoring that contain all the essential vitamins and nutrients a malnourished child needs to survive. The MannaPack meals easily can be cooked like rice.

For the first time, funds raised through Join The Pack will go to building homes for people like 23-year-old Blanca, who dreams of a new home where she can keep her three young daughters safe and warm in Guatemala's high-altitude cool winters. She wouldn't have to worry about the rickety roof collapsing in on the shack they share.

"It's very cold," Blanca said. "When it rains, water enters the house. The house is very tiny."

Granite Telecommunications, a Join The Pack sponsor, is organizing a companywide Jeans Day on May 30 to raise money to build a home. The company's 2,000 employees across the United States can participate by donating $3 to wear jeans to work on that day.

Jason Daubenmire, Granite Telecommunications' Director of Business Development, said he nominated Food For The Poor for the Jeans Day promotion because the charity adheres to God's word in Matthew 25:40: 'Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me.' "Join The Pack is a way to honor those words," he added.

The company also is bringing a team to pack meals on May 31.

"It's a great team-building event," Daubenmire said. "The important thing is that we're giving back and helping others and that's always been an important part of our company's mission."

Jersey Mike's Subs has a special promotion of its own to raise funds to build a home.

The popular sub chain will distribute donation cards valid for a free regular sub with a $3 donation to Food For The Poor on the following dates and locations:

  • May 23 and 24 at 7011 N. State Road 7 in Parkland.
  • June 4 and 5 at 1200 Yamato Road in Boca Raton and 5500 Military Trail in Jupiter.
Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma said every meal packed at Join The Pack will go to families who are starving or suffering because of malnutrition. And by providing the simple dignity and safety of a home, he added, volunteers are restoring hope to destitute families.

"Join The Pack is about saving lives and transforming lives," Aloma said.

Packing sessions for Join The Pack will be from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 31, for corporate teams and two general sessions from 9 to 11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 1. Volunteers must raise or donate a minimum of $50 each to participate.

Bravo Supermarkets is the presenting sponsor for Join The Pack. In addition to Granite Telecommunications and Jersey Mike's Subs, other sponsors include DaVita, Hormel Foods, Florida Aquastore, Sonitrol of Fort Lauderdale, The Sena Group, QuestingHound Technology Partners and Goya.

For more information on Join The Pack, including sponsorship opportunities, call Cassandra Celestin at 954-427-2222 ext. 4020. Or, to register for the event, visit
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for orphaned or abandoned children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054