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Volunteers Pack 14,500 Bags for EFY Race

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - What does it take to put together 14,500 race bags?

About 100 volunteers, thousands of donated boxes of food, and a handful of forklift operators with laser precision.

Shruthi Boggarapu, a Linn-Mar students, started her Saturday early to come in and help out.

"I think it's nice that General Mills put together an organization where we put together bags," Boggarapu said.

She and dozens of other students worked through steamy conditions in this 60,000 square foot warehouse, throwing together bag after bag after bag.

"From schools, from churches, from around the community, and even colleges," said Sandy Hendricks, Purchasing Manager for General Mills. "We got done in record time. We finished at 9:30, and started at 7:30. It's great."

Hendricks said the forklifts, driven by warehouse employees putting in some unpaid work, had to race to keep up.

"We've got forklifts going, got people opening boxes, people stuffing bags, so yes, a lot of ants moving things around," Hendricks said.

It's extra work that warehouse manager Bud Hillesheim is happy to do.

"All my lift truck operators donate their time, I donate my time, and people out here donate their time," Hillesheim told us.

After all of the ordered chaos, 5 semi loads of bags will make their way to Mercy Medical Center before being handed out to EFY racers, and none of it would happen without the volunteers.

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