There was a canned food drive of a different kind this week in Kalona. A team of men and woman organized by the local Mennonite Central Committee packed nearly 10 tons of turkey that’ll be given to charity. Wes Rinner of Waylon was on the volunteers. Rinner says it’s his way of contributing and helping other people. Every year the group rents out a meat canning truck. Then, for two long days, dozens of volunteers in Kalona hand-pack tins with tons of turkey.
Canning committee chairman John Yoder says, “Sure, it would probably be more efficient to have a machine do this, you wouldn’t need all these people, but this is part of the process to get people together.” It is a difficult and expensive process and it costs the group 30-thousand dollars to rent the truck and processing equipment, buy the turkey, grind it, mash it, dry it, and stuff it into cans. The group filled about 11-thousand cans of turkey this week.
Rinner says he doesn’t need to know who gets the turkey. “It goes all over the world, wherever it’s most needed,” he says. But each can has a label that bears the name and address of the volunteer who stuck that label on the can.