PACK for a Purpose: Robots Fighting Hunger filled over 6,000 bags of kid-friendly, nutritious food for children facing food insecurity at this year’s PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO (Sept 23-25, 2019). The first of its kind collaboration between show producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, and Blessings in a Backpack, incorporated exhibitor supplied robots that demonstrated various automated capabilities while picking and filling bags with food.

“We are honored that the packaging industry could use its technology to fight hunger and support such a worthy cause,” said Laura Thompson, vice president, trade shows, PMMI. “We are fortunate to have had the support of many PACK EXPO exhibitors and Blessings in a Backpack to make this initiative possible and look forward to future opportunities to make a difference in children’s lives.”

The initiative was part of the new show floor destination, the Robotics Zone, and participating sponsors included Bosch, Chicago Electric with Yaskawa, Fanuc America, ProMach with ABB and Universal Robots.

The filled bags were donated to Blessings in a Backpack programs in Las Vegas, Chicago and Reston, Virginia, to feed school-aged children over the weekends. Benefitting schools included:

  • Las Vegas
    • Democracy Prep
    • Jacob Manch Elementary
  • Chicago
    • St. Vincent de Paul Center
  • Reston, Virginia
    • Lake Anne Elementary
    • Langston Hughes Elementary
    • Sully Elementary

“PMMI had the brilliant idea of having robots pack bags of food for the kids we serve at this year’s PACK EXPO, so it was a natural fit for us,” said Brooke Wiseman, Blessings in a Backpack CEO. “It was all in the 'hands' of the philanthro-bots, and we are so grateful for their partnership. The impact on these communities is immense and we look forward to working with PMMI and PACK EXPO at their upcoming event in March.”

A video of this initiative can be found here and a number of the participating exhibitors have also shared footage: 

Following on the success of the PACK EXPO Las Vegas collaboration, PMMI and Blessings in a Backpack will again collaborate at PACK EXPO East (March 3-5, 2020; Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia). In addition to this charitable cause, PACK EXPO East provides the right opportunity to take a more focused approach to explore packaging solutions and systems.

Produced by PMMI, the three-day event will convene 7,000 attendees with 400 companies showcasing new technologies over 100,000 net square feet of exhibit space. PACK EXPO East attendees will enjoy all the educational and networking opportunities traditionally offered at larger PACK EXPO shows on a more personable scale.

For more information and to register for PACK EXPO East 2020, visit

Source: PMMI