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Tyson L’Heureux, international accounts manager with Global Industries, Inc., helps assemble food baskets for Heartland United Way on Wednesday in a separate area set up inside the company warehouse. (Independent/Andrew Carpenean)

JeffBahr
Posted on Dec 9, 2015by Jeff Bahr
The people at MFS/York/Stormor operate with great efficiency, even when doing charitable work.
Employees gathered at 2 p.m. Wednesday to fill baskets with food. Thirty-five minutes later, the food had been packed into pickup trucks and driven out the door, on its way to people who need it.
It was the 12th year in a row that MFS/York/Stormor workers and other Global Industries employees have packed food baskets for the needy.
An assembly line involving about 30 employees filled 50 baskets with food on the shipping floor.
The first person in line, Steve Beck, said his job was important. He grabbed an empty laundry basket and inserted a bottle of punch and a can of spaghetti sauce before moving the basket to the next person. “If it’s not right at the start, it’s all screwed up,” said Beck, a 25-year employee.
The ingredients can be used to prepare a very nice Christmas dinner. Included in each basket were certificates for turkey and ham. But the baskets contained way more food than people can consume at one sitting. Stuffed in each basket, among other things, were spaghetti, hot chocolate, soup, ketchup and macaroni.
Tammy Graves was putting strawberry and cherry Jell-O in each basket. The work got her thinking so much about Jell-O that she planned to go home and make some Wednesday night.
Graves has worked at the company 10 years, but it was her first time packing Christmas baskets. “I enjoyed it,” she said. “I like helping other people.”
Shannon Skinner-Ziska was inserting marshmallows, oven bags and salt and pepper shakers in each basket.
Linda Getchell is a nine-year employee of the company, but this was also the first time she has packed the food baskets.
Why do the employees do the project every year?
“It’s the right thing to do,” said Deb Morse.
IT Manager Justin Scott said people who have jobs have the ability to help those who are less fortunate.
Forty-six of the baskets were taken to Heartland United Way. Two went to Grand Island public schools and one was delivered to an area family.
The Grand Island Global Industries employees do the work each year because there’s a need, said Kevin Trapp. “This is our Christmas project,” he said.
It’s also fun for employees of the various divisions to work side by side, he said.
Packing the baskets, in addition to MFS/York/Stormor employees, were people from the corporate office, the warehouse across the street and Indianhead Golf Club. The latter is a sister company.
On top of each basket was a disposable roasting pan. Even the container holding the food can be put to good use. Families can use the laundry basket either for laundry or storage, Trapp said.
After the work was done, Bonnie Westfall of Heartland United Way gave a large group of employees a “heartfelt thank you.”
She told the group that the food will go to families who are going through very difficult times. They will appreciate a hot meal, she said. “I can’t tell you how much that means to these families,” she said.
“What you do makes a huge difference,” added Westfall, who told the employees to have a wonderful holiday.
In addition to the baskets, the company has also adopted a local family for Christmas, Westfall said. In an interview, she said she is “overwhelmed” by the company’s generosity, pointing out how the employees get together and collect donations among themselves.