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EL DORADO — A red, industrial looking building stands right next to a cemetery just off K-254 highway. That’s home to Numana.
As Numana celebrates its 10-year anniversary, a lack of public awareness has not stopped the business from helping anyone and everyone.
“This is our opportunity to step up,” executive director Ashley Burns said.
With the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the nation, Numana has stepped up to the plate, not only internationally but locally.
The company provides meals for people who are in need. It preps food packages and ships them all around the world, not just in El Dorado. However, during this time, the focus has turned to supporting its own.
Burns wanted to make an impact throughout the community and sees Numana as that way. Last year, Numana did 3 million meals around the world, with 90 percent of them internationally and 10 percent at home.
The meals are simple. There’s a recipe sheet to follow, the meals are nutrition “based,” meaning they can be prepared or eaten as is. They also pair with other foods that can be acquired at food banks. They come with a large zip-lock bag-sized white grain rice, freeze dried pinto beans and a dehydrated soy, that is almost granola-like. Local meals come with freeze-dried vegetables, while international meals come with a vitamin packet.
“It’s basically Chipotle without the meat and fresh vegetables,” Burns said.
They’re loaded, too. They have a warehouse that is filling up in case they are needed within the community.
“We make sure we are taking care of our local needs,” Burns said.
While they are not a faith-based organization, Numana was founded through faith. Numana refers to the biblical term “mana.” It is referenced as the food the Israelites were instructed to consume while they wondered the desert during their 40-year exodus.
A small staff of five at their office on Boyer Road, just south of 254, have taken extra precautions with the pandemic. They bleached their kitchen and they sanitize daily, observing many of the same health food regulations that your favorite restaurant would adhere to.
As of Friday, Numana has hand delivered 5,328 meals to families in Butler County.
“We anticipate that number to grow exponentially next week as we continue to reach out to local partner food pantries who can distribute our meals,” Burns said.