The Rittman Distribution Center spends about two weeks each year canning thousands of cans of meat in order to provide a high-protein product to ship to those in need.
A trailer is rented from Mennonite Central Committee each fall and spring which includes the necessary equipment to seal the cans and process the meat in canners as well as several men trained to run the canners. Volunteers follow USDA approved procedures to grind the raw meat and fill cans to the appropriate weight. After the meat is processed in the canners, volunteers wash and label the cans.
Meat is ground and carried to the line in the canning trailer.
Inside the meat canning trailer, the ground meat is put into cans and weighed.
Under the operation of one of the trained canning men, a machine seals the lid on each can. Then volunteers catch the cans and stack them in the metal baskets which are hoisted into the large canners.
When the cooking is completed, the metal baskets of cans are wheeled to another line of volunteers who wash, dry, and label the cans.
A machine prints the dates and other information on the top of each can before it is packed into boxes to be distributed locally, nationally, or internationally.