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The MCC mobile canner is back in Goshen, volunteers help feed hungry worldwide

Steam billows from a tractor tailor parked outside The Depot in Goshen Thursday, Jan. 8. Inside The Depot, dozens of volunteers — all associated with the Mennonite Central Committee — gather to cut raw turkey meat, pack it into cans and load the cans into an enormous pressure cooker. After the meat is cooked, the cans are washed and labeled, and put into boxes to send to hungry people here in Michiana and to countries all over the world.

It’s no small task, either. After nine days of canning, the local volunteers and the four crew members of the canner will have canned 78,000 pounds of turkey meat.

While most of the volunteers are Amish, some come from Mennonite churches in northern and central Indiana, as well as southern Michigan and western Ohio. Other than Goshen, the mobile canner will make stops in 34 more communities in the United States and one in Manitoba Canada.
The mobile meat canner started coming to Goshen in 1946. Last year, the combined work from all volunteers resulted in MCC shipping 476,664 cans of meat to 13 countries, including the U.S. and Canada. In addition to turkey, the canner also cans pork and beef.

The local cost of purchasing meat and operating the canner is estimated to be about $170,000, according to information provided by Jennifer Steiner, MCC Great Lakes Communications Coordinator. Ten percent of the meat canned in Goshen will be available for distribution in the Great Lakes region.

The annual visit of the MCC mobile canner is taking place at the MCC offices in Goshen until Jan. 17.

For information about helping out at the canner or to learn more about MCC, call 574-534-4133.

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