Monday, February 22, 2010

"Susan, what are you going to ask him?"

Patti said with that look on her face.

"You sound like Keith! I am just going to ask if there is a website where we can see a video or a picture of the fruits of our labors, that's all." I reassured her, as I asked a volunteer to have him stop by our table number 30.

The “him” we were discussing, unbeknown to us at the time, was Rick McNary, founder of Numana, Inc. I had spoken briefly to him earlier as we assembled meals for Haiti this past Sunday with over 5,000 other volunteers, and recognized that with his wearing of a white button down shirt embroidered with “Numana” he would be a person to ask.

Within minutes Mr. McNary was standing at our packing table, introducing himself and telling us “I have a great story about how this started.”

He went on to tell us that he is a Pastor and 10 years ago he was traveling in Nicaragua when a malnourished, 5 year-old girl named Maria, crawled onto his lap and asked him for food.

“It broke my heart.” He said.

He has since fed and supported Maria, who is now a healthy, thriving, educated 15 year old.

But, he wanted to do more than just help her. So four years ago Rick founded Numana, Inc. (named after the biblical “manna” that fell from the sky and fed the Israelites in the old testament).

They researched and developed a recipe, that was easy to assemble and sealed in plastic for a long shelf life and cost-effective shipping. Each of these meals contain enough food for 6 people - consisting of rice, vegetable protein, freeze-dried vegetables and chicken flavored soy protein that is fortified with vitamins and minerals.

This past December, the charitable people in Rick's small town of El Dorado, Kansas, packaged and filled a shipping container with the meals, and he approached the Salvation Army...

"Where might there be the greatest need?" he asked.

Haiti was suggested, well before the earthquake hit, because it already was one of the poorest countries in the world.

That very first shipment left El Dorado bound for Haiti on December 29, 2009, and promptly got stuck in Iowa during a mean Midwestern snowstorm.

And there it sat.

That delay turned out to be divine, because when the devastating earthquake hit Haiti on January 12th, the Salvation Army immediately contacted Numana, knowing it had these ready-to-go-right-now meals.

They work out the logistics of getting the shipping container and Numana's meals were part of the first wave of food dropped onto Haiti.


dropped from the sky...

via parachute.

Raining down on those starving people, just like the biblical manna the company was named for.

By the time Rick finished his story, Patti and I were both standing there - speechless, tears in our eyes, and chills running up and down our spines.

As he left to get back to the running of the massive operation at hand, we thanked him.

And I turned to Patti and said “THAT is why I ask questions! What an awesome story!”

of Gods glory

Needless to say I just had to get a picture of Mr. McNary and me...

for you to see


Anonymous said...

yep, thats the story! good memory!

Rebecca said...

Wow. Now, THATS an awesome post...of an story. I was breathless as I read your story, and I too have chills and tears. I've never heard of this organization before. Thanks for sharing about it.

P.S. What a beauuutiful picture of you. :)

... Paige said...

awesome is our Father!