Family packs meals for those in need

Posted at: 11/24/2012 8:27 PM
Updated at: 11/24/2012 10:24 PM
By: Gabe Gutierrez, NBC

It started as a project to spend more time together, but it quickly snowballed. And this month one family in North Carolina hit a major milestone, and they're making a difference for a lot of folks in need.

For Suzanne and Jeff Yoh it started as an idea to bring their family together.

"It does matter that they spend time with us," Suzanne Yoh said.

And with three teenagers that's not always easy.

"I think we're a typical family," Jeff Yoh said.

That is until you see how they spend their weekends. This family of five has organized a Charlotte branch of the national group Kids Against Hunger, where volunteers of all ages pack meals for the hungry.

"It just like feels really good because I know they're gonna get a meal tonight," Jeff Yoh said. "And I don't know if they would get it otherwise."

16-year-old Alec Yoh does his part as does his older brother Jeffrey.

"It's surprising since I never thought it would be like this at the start," Jeffrey Yoh said.

And their 14-year-old sister Abby tallies the results.

"A lot of kids' lives have been saved because of the food that we pack," Abby Yoh said.

Six meals per bag - a mixture including rice and soy - Paid for by donations from schools, churches and local businesses.

"You know, we started off thinking we'd do one a month," Jeff Yoh said. "And we have a whole slate of different packing events coming up. It sort of gets addictive to want to do it."

About 10 percent of the meals stay in Charlotte with the rest are shipped elsewhere, to places like Haiti and Central America. The Yoh family has partnered with an international relief agency to send many of the meals to children in Nicaragua.

"We have everything we need and want and they don't really have even anything to eat," Oliver Jaeckli, a 9-Year-Old volunteer, said.

The Yoh family met a milestone Saturday: One million meals packed in just a year and a half.

"In the scheme of things, is it really a lot? No. But it's the dent that the five of us can make. And if everyone tried to make a dent, there could be a difference," Suzanne Yoh said.

Not bad for one family who hopes their idea is contagious.