The MCC mobile cannery makes stops in 30 communities across the United States and Canada, including 9 in the Great Lakes region. Thanks to the partnerships with local meat canning committees and volunteers, MCC is able to can over half a million cans of meat each year.
In Berlin, Ohio, volunteers have been canning meat for close to 50 years. The current building was built in 1969, but the canning took place at other locations in Berlin for years prior.
Dwight Shoup has been on the local meat canning committee since 2003 and has been the treasurer for the past five years. “I have a business that has a slow time when meat canning is, so it is a good fit for me to work with the project,” he said. “It is rewarding to see all the cans full of meat ready to go to help those less fortunate.”
According to Shoup, the Berlin community is heavily involved in the project. There were over 165 different contributors towards the cost of the canning operation, whether church congregations or individuals. There are many volunteers who donate their time to cut, can, label and box the meat. Local businesses also donate trucks, fuel, portable building and laundry facilities to make the project successful.
Over a four day period, the Berlin site canned 30,000 pounds of turkey resulting in 19,047 cans. “Meat canning is important because it is a tangible way for us to help those in need,” said Shoup. “The need may be somewhere else in the world or right here in our community.”
Illustrating that point, the canning committee keeps 40 boxes of canned meat that are divided between three local organizations in the community: The Love Center Food Pantry in Millersburg, Holmes County Share-A-Christmas and Barrs Mill Harbor of Hope Food Pantry in Sugarcreek. The remainder is distributed through MCC’s international partners where needed most.