NewsCovering Colorado


5 million meals packed for starving children worldwide, thanks to efforts of two northern Colorado men

Posted at 7:53 AM, Apr 29, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-29 09:53:42-04

LOVELAND, Colo. — Good vibes, for a good cause. That's the idea behind the northern Colorado food packing event Slammin' Famine — which brings volunteers in the community together, to pack and ship meals around the world for hungry children.

"We get people excited when they pack a box, and that's really part of why people come back," said Brian Zonnefeld, one of the co-founders of Slammin' Famine. "It's a lot of work, a lot of hours, but as soon as we step in here and see the impact here and abroad — it makes everything worthwhile."

And at this packing event, hundreds of people came out to support their mission.

"In two hours, the average volunteer's gonna pack enough meals to help feed a kid for about seven months," said Eric Dowdy, the co-founder of Slammin' Famine.

Together, these two men are celebrating a major milestone.

"The very first time we did this, I think we packed over 500,000 meals or so," recalled Dowdy, "And here we are, 12 events later, celebrating five million meals. That's thousands and thousands of kids that are literally fed for an entire year, who are being saved from starvation."

"They spent endless time, and resources, fundraising, logistics, planning," said Phyllis Courtney, the project manager on Slammin' Famine's leadership team. "Without Eric and Brian, none of this would be happening. They're an inspiration to the whole team."

An inspiration to make a difference and have a good time doing it.

"That's what we want to do, to make you realize that it is fun to make a global difference," said Zonnefeld.

Millions of meals later, and with more packing events to come, Denver7 and West Shore Home are proud to call Eric Dowdy and Brian Zonnefeld, this week's Everyday Heroes!

5M meals packed for starving children, thanks to two northern Colorado men

Denver7 features a different Everyday Hero each week. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.